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Heat Exchangers: Fresh Water Generators: Oil Separators: Pollution:

Notes for BE (Marine Engineering) Cadets.
Notes prepared by: Prof. K. Venkataraman. CEng; FIMarE; MIE.

Most coolers used on board ship transfer heat from a hot fluid to seawater. For the main propulsion
engine the motor ship, the engine jacket water, lubricating oil and charge air must be cooled and
generally also water or oil used in cooling the pistons.
In a steam ship, apart from the heat yielded to the main condenser, the turbine and gearbox lubricating
oils provide the principal sources of heat rejected to the circulating cooling water.
Auxiliary prime movers require cooling and compressor intercoolers and after-coolers have already been
mentioned in another chapter. Steam heated heat exchangers include heavy fuel oil heaters, boiler air
pre-heaters, units to heat sea water for tank washing, evaporators, feed heaters and calorifiers.

In almost all heat exchangers, heat flows from the hot fluid to a cooler one through an intermediate heat-
conductive wall, which takes up some intermediate temperature. The temperature profile across an
element of wall surface may be considered as approximating to that depicted in the figure below.

Temperature Gradient between Fluids:

The temperature of the hot fluid falls through the boundary layer associated with that side of the wall
from the bulk temperature th to the wall temperature tcw. There is a small drop in temperature through the
wall, due to its thermal resistance, from thw to tcw. On the cold side of the wall, the fluid immediately in
contact with the wall is at tcw but its temperature falls through the boundary layer on that side to the bulk
fluid temperature tc.
Considering a rate of heat flow Q through the element of wall surface area A:


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If the overall co-efficient of heat transfer between the hot and cold fluids is defined as:

This is the basic equation governing the performance of a heat exchanger in which the heat transfer
surface is completely clean. Additional terms may be added to the right hand side of the equation to
represent the resistance to heat flow of films of dirt, scale, etc. The values of h1 and h2 are respectively
determined by the fluids and flow conditions on the two sides of the wall surface. Under normal
operating conditions, water flowing over a surface gives a relatively high coefficient of heat transfer, as
does condensing steam, whereas oil provides a considerably lower value. Air is also a poor heat transfer
fluid and it, is quite usual to modify, the effect of this by adding extended surface (fins) on the side of
the wall in contact with the air.
In a practical heat exchanger, the thermal performance is described by the equation:

It is some times important to appreciate the effect of variation of cooling water flow through a heat

Effect of variation in cooling water flow:

The above graph illustrates two typical instances, one a jacket water cooler and the other a lubricating
oil cooler (both sea-water cooled), in which the difference in temperature between the hot fluid and the
sea-water is plotted against sea-water flow, assuming constant hot fluid flow and rate of heat transfer.

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Types of Heat Exchangers:
Shell and Tube type:
The most common form of heat exchanger is the shell and tube type. This design comprises a cylindrical
bundle of parallel tubes secured at each end into tube plates, the bundle (or stack) being inserted into a
cylindrical shell. The usual method of securing the tubes to the tube-plates is to roller-expand them.
Baffles direct fluid over the tubes. There are basically two types of baffle systems employed in this type
of heat exchanger, one known the segmental type incorporates D-type baffles which direct the flow of
fluid from side to side across the whole tube bundle, the other incorporates alternately solid and annular
discs so that the flow is radially inward and outward across the tubes. The other fluid is passed through
the tubes and is conducted to and from them by means of headers.

At one end of the heat exchanger the tube plate is secured between the cylinder and water-box (header),
the other end is free to move through an expansion ring permitting movement of the tube stack as a
whole to accommodate differential expansion between the tube stack and shell. Also, since two separate
elastomer seals lay either side of the expansion/leakage ring (see figure on page 4) in the event of
leakage past either seal, the two fluids cannot intermix.

Shell and Tube type Heat Exchanger:

The above figure shows a typical shell and tube heat exchanger incorporating the above arrangements.
Figure on page 4 shows typical fixed and expansion end header arrangements. Headers may be designed
to give single, double or more passes of cooling water through the tubes. The headers are provided with
removable covers thus providing access to the tubes for cleaning.

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Fixed and Expansion End Water Box Arrangements:

Most marine heat exchangers are of the shell-and-tube type, an example of which is shown in the figure
below. A tube bundle, or stack, is inserted inside a shell, whose branches are connected into the
circulating system of the hot fluid. The stack comprises a number of tubes secured into a tube-plate at
each end, and a series of baffles directs the flow of hot fluid back and forth across the tube bundle. At
each end of the heat exchanger is a header, whose purpose is to conduct the other fluid (usually sea-
water) through the tubes. These headers may he designed to give a single pass through the tubes or, as in
the figure below, two passes. Removable covers are normally provided on the headers, to facilitate
access to the tubes for cleaning.

Cut section of a Shell and Tube Type Heat Exchanger:

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Service and Repair of Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers:
Coolers and heat exchangers have easily removable tube stacks, which can be extracted with the unit in-
situ, so that the pipe connections need not be disturbed. In the case of small coolers and heat exchangers
however, it is often advantageous to remove the complete unit for maintenance purposes. Figure below
gives a guide for defect investigation and the appropriate action required co correct a fault.


Deterioration of performance is characterised by rising temperatures in the primary medium with or

without a corresponding increase in pressure loss. This indicates the need for inspection of the surfaces
with a view to cleaning. Cleaning can be carried out by mechanical or by chemical treatment methods
but in some circumstances both methods may have to he employed. When chemical methods of cleaning
are used great care should be taken to ensure that the chemicals do not have any adverse effect on the
materials of constructions of the heat exchanger and associated pipe work. When mechanical methods of
cleaning are employed great care should be taken to ensure that the tubes are not mechanically damaged.

Before commencing cleaning operations make sure chat a new set of joints is available together with the
necessary tools and brushes. The tool kit available for repair to coolers contains a spiral brush with
handle and extension rod for brushing off soft deposits out of tubes. If the primary medium is water, then
in most designs this normally flows over the tubes. The water, usually fresh or distilled, is recirculated
and the heat exchanger should not normally be subject to heavy fouling. Units should, therefore only
require cleaning after long period of service.

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Oil cooler surfaces should be examined at regular intervals and cleaned when necessary. In most designs
the oil flows over the tubes and it is not possible to efficiently clean this side of the unit by mechanical

Deposits should, therefore, be removed by the use of one of the recommended chemical detergents.
Cleaning can be carried out either in-situ or by immersion in a separate tank. Agitation or circulation of
the detergent is generally recommended.
The majority of deposits found in the seawater side of heat exchangers are relatively soft and can be
removed the use of the special brushes. In action, rotate the brush and rod in a clockwise direction to
avoid unscrewing the brush head from the rod assembly. If possible attach the rod assembly to an
electric hand drill, which will speed up the cleaning and will prevent unscrewing. The use of water hose
will help to keep the brushes clean and will carry away the loosened deposits. The importance of
removing these soft deposits and obstructions regularly cannot be over emphasised, since there is a
danger of corrosion from partially obstructed tubes, together with increased pressure losses and a drop in
Careful brushing is essential, since if the tubes are mechanically, damaged they may suffer rapid failure
from corrosion mechanisms. When solid foreign bodies obstruct tubes, do not force the brush through
the tube as this may damage the tube walls.
If the deposits are hard and do not respond to brushing, then cleaning by chemical treatment is generally
preferred. If, however, chemical cleaning is also ineffective, then mechanical cleaning by drilling the
deposit may be attempted. A selection of scale drilling tools is commercially available. These tools
should be used with extreme caution as mechanical damage to the tubes can occur very easily.

Chemical Cleaning:
Deposits found on the fresh water side of heat exchangers can generally be removed easily by one of the
acid based de-scalents. Cleaning can be carried out either in situ or by immersion in a separate tank.
Always follow the manufacturers instructions regarding temperature, strength and operating procedure.
Seawater surfaces may be found to be coated with a heavy adherent scale, which is known as a hard
water scale. These scales may be formed from calcium sulphate or silicates. These scales are best
removed by acid de-scaling.
After acid de-scaling the unit should be thoroughly rinsed with water and the tubes brushed through. The
unit should then he rewashed with water, followed by rinsing with a 5% washing soda solution to
neutralize any remaining acid.
Oily and greasy deposits require de-greasing prior to de-scaling with acid based solutions. Alternatively,
oil deposits can be removed by the use of a combined de-greasant acid de-scaler. Proprietary degreasing
chemicals can generally be classified into one of three types, although they may have a mixed action.
Alkaline De-greasants:
These are based on chemical alkalis such as hydroxides, silicate, carbonates, phosphates, soaps and
synthetic detergents. These usually work at high ph values, and are not generally suitable for aluminium
and light alloy components. Certain proprietary brands have been developed for use with aluminium
Hydrocarbon Solvents:
These de-greasants can vary from light petroleum products to chlorinated hydrocarbons, and can be used
in the liquid or vapor forms. They dissolve oil and grease but will not remove water-soluble salts, which
are often present in deposits. The chlorinated hydrocarbons are generally preferred to the other
petroleum products since they are non-flammable. They are, however, still extremely volatile, toxic
and/or narcotic. All smoking must be prohibited and good ventilation provided when degreasing with
hydrocarbon solvents

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Solvent Emulsion:
Although alkaline de-greasants and hydrocarbon solvents are satisfactory for the majority of cleaning
problems, complete cleaning of highly resistant deposits such as carbonised oil, can often only be
achieved by the use of one of these cleaners. Solvent emulsion cleaners contain hydrocarbon solvent and
an emulsifier. Very often they also contain water or a water-based solution, which can be neutral,
alkaline or acidic. This type of de-greasants can, therefore, combine the advantages of both hydrocarbon
solvents and alkaline de-greasants into a single solution. Alternatively, however, if an acid based
solution is incorporated then the de-greasant can also have a scale-removing action.

1. Many of these products are suitable for cleaning aluminium alloys, but those, which are strongly
alkaline or acidic, can cause excessive attack and should not, therefore, be used.

2. All de-greasants are harmful to personnel and their clothes, etc. Many are toxic, or volatile, and
the majority attack rubber ant paints. It is essential, therefore, that adequate ventilation is
provided and that the clearers should be used strictly according to the manufacturers'

Dismantling the Cooler:

1. Obtain a new set of joint rings before commencing to dismantle the cooler.
2. Isolate the unit by closing the appropriate valve, then drain off both fluids. Oil should be
removed whilst still warm, if possible.
3. File register marks across the edges of the cylinder, tube plate and water box flanges, to ensure
correct alignment when reassembling.
4. Remove metallic connector strip (if fitted).
5. Unscrew the nuts and remove the fixed end water box and joint ring.
6. Remove the expansion end box together with the machined leakage ring and two joint rings.
7. Remove the tube stack:

Owing to the close manufacturing tolerances maintained in the production of these units, it may be
difficult to remove the tube stack from a unit that has been untouched for a number of years.
On no account use levers under the fixed end tube plate to pries the stack loose. This may damage the
plate and cause leakage when the unit is reassembled. An effective method of starting the stack is to
place a suitable bar diametrically across the expansion end tube plate, then pull the bar up to the cylinder
by the progressive tightening of bolts which pass through the extremities of the bar and aligned holes in
the cylinder flange.
Support the stack, if horizontal, with a webbing or leather sling of suitable strength, or with an eyebolt
for vertical hoisting. A tapped hole is provided at the centre of each tube plate for the insertion of an
eyebolt. Great care must be exercised to avoid damage to the stack during handing.
Tube Removal and Replacement:
Adverse operating conditions or careless maintenance may be the cause of tube failure. As a temporary
measure using the wooden plugs supplied with each kit of cleaning and re-tubing tools should isolate a
defective tube. A plug should be driven securely into both ends of the tube. When convenient, and
particularly when a number of tubes have been plugged, take steps to fit new tubes, using the correct
tools for the job and working to the instruction as given in detail in the following pages.
See figures on page 8 for plugs and tools.

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Cleaning and Re-tubing Tools:

Tube Replacement methods: see page 9:

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Assembling the Cooler:

1. Ensure that all internal surfaces are quite clean.

2. Pass one flat joint ring over the stack, to rest against the inner side of the fixed end tube plate.
Insert the stack into the cylinder being careful to prevent damage, and align the register marks on
the cylinder flange and the fixed end tube plate.
3. Place a flat joint ring in position and mount the fixed end water box so that the filed register
marks are in alignment. Secure by tightening the nuts on to the stride or bolts as applicable.
4. Affix the metallic conductor strip across the flanges, having first scraped clean the contacting
surfaces to ensure a metal-to-metal contact. Do not forget to insert the central screw into the
fixed end tube plate.
5. Place the expansion end inner joint ring, safety leakage ring and outer joint ring over the
expansion end tube plate. Mount the expansion end water box in position on the studs and secure
by tightening all the nuts progressively and evenly, to avoid local over stressing.
6. Replace water box covers, inspection doors, drain plugs, etc., as necessary.
Apply the correct oil or water pressure to the cooler on both sides of the tubes independently and
examine the tubes, plates, and joints for leakage. The test pressure for units with 11mm tubes is usually
about 4 bar, and for units with 14mm tubes, about 7 bar.
Should a newly fitted tribe show signs of leakage at the tube to tube plate joint, it is generally only
necessary to re-expand lightly with the roller expander.
Operating Notes:
1. CIRCULATE ONLY MINIMUM COOLING WATER (C.W) to maintain correct temperatures -
excess water promotes corrosion and wastes power.

2. Control temperature by regulating C.W. OUTLET VALVE whilst inlet valve is kept fully open.

3. Keep air out of system by use of vent cocks on sea suctions and coolers and cheek pump glands.

4. No Stagnant or Partly full condition should be kept in the cooler as it promotes corrosion.
When the cooler is not working/ not in use, drain cooler.

5. AVOID FRFEZING in extremely cold weather.

6. OIL COOLERS: Circulate oil over the tubes until it has reached operating temperature before
turning on cooling water.

7. MONITOR CONDITION of cooler by the terminal temperatures and pressure loss across cooler.

8. INSPECT AND CLEAN at regular intervals and replace sacrificial anodes as required.

9. Chemical treatment to be given to seawater and fresh water as necessary.


11. AVOID VIBRATION Can lead to stress-corrosion cracking.

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Plate Heat Exchangers:
The plate heat exchanger consists of a pack of corrugated metal plates, provided with ports for the
passage of the fluids between which heat is to be transferred. The plates are fitted with gaskets, which
seal the channels and direct the fluids into alternative channels. The gaskets are designed in such a way
that the two liquids flow through the heat exchanger in counter-flow.

The following figures show how a plate heat exchanger works:

The flow ports at the corners of the channel plates are so arranged that the tooled and cooling
liquids flow in alternate inter-plate spaces - forming two interwoven but physically separated

Plate Face Wiew:

Elastic gaskets glued into grooves round the edges of the plates form the sealing surface. Note the
double gasket arrangement round the bypass flow port including the drain hole for leakage

Configuration of gaskets determines the flow pattern.

One medium passes through the corner ports on the left and the other on the right.
In a plate heat exchanger with one group of parallel channels per medium (the usual marine
arrangement), identical plates can be used with every second plate inverted to form the system of
alternate channels. Only one end plate differs in having blind corners.
See illustrations on next page.

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Channel plate: End Plate:
Against the pressure plate:

Counter-current Flow Pattern:

Countercurrent flow. This exploded view illustrates the arrangement of alternating channels
giving counter-current flow throughout for higher heat-transfer efficiency. In the standard marine
platage shown here, all the channels for medium are connected in parallel to permit location of the
inlets and outlets at the fixed end of the frame.

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Flow pattern Between Plates:

Corrugations stiffen the plates (permitting the use of thin-gauge material), increase the effective area and
promote highly turbulent flow even at low liquid velocities. All these factors contribute to the efficiency
of heat transfer. A frame consisting of a fixed cover and a movable cover, fitted with clamping bolts,
compresses the pack. The plates and movable cover are suspended from an upper carrying bar and
located by a lower guide bar, the ends of which are fixed to a support column.
Fluid connections are located in the fixed cover, or, if either or both fluids make more than a single pass
within the unit, in the fixed and movable covers.
How a Plate Heat Exchanger is built:

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The plate heat exchanger is a very simple apparatus put together from a limited number of standard
parts- frame, plate pack, and clamping bolts.
Frame. The standard marine plate heat exchanger frame is designed for bolting to the deck.
All liquid inlets and outlets are normally at the fixed end. The movable end (pressure plate) rides on the
horizontal carrying bars.
Plate Pack:

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Plate pack: The pressed sheet metal plates, which constitute the heat-transfer partitions are hung from
the upper carrying bar and located by the lower one. The number of plates in the pack varies according
to the required capacity of the unit.

Clamping bolts: The plates are uniformly compressed between the frame and pressure plate by lateral
bolts - two or more on each side. To open the pack for inspection, the nuts are simply slackened and the
bolts lifted out. Special bearings next to the nuts reduce the friction force when the bolts are tightened.

Assembled Plate Heat Exchanger:

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The assembled plate heat exchanger will look like the above figure. The modular construction combines
mass-production economy with the possibility of matching each individual unit to exact performance

The plates are corrugated for two basic reasons:

1. To promote turbulence in the fluid flowing between them.

2. To support the plates against different pressure.

For different duties, plates have various types of corrugations such as parallel lateral corrugations - the
washboard pattern. Turbulence is promoted due to the continuously changing flow direction and
velocity. Another type is the herringbone corrugation.

Such plates are assembled with the pattern pointing in opposite directions, producing a channel whose
geometry imparts a swirling motion to the fluid. Support is achieved with the parallel-corrugated type by
pressing dimples into the plates, which prevents the corrugations from collapsing in to each other.

Herringbone corrugated plates are clamped together to metallic contact. In this way a very large
number of contact points is obtained, enabling thin material (0.6 0.8mm) to withstand high differential
pressure (up to 25 bar). Figures in the page 17 show a variety of plate sizes and configurations. By
mixing the plates the heat exchanger can be optimized for a wide range of thermal duties.

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Plate Patterns:
Good design of the gasketting systems in a plate heat exchanger is of the utmost importance to ensure
that the fluids cannot under normal operating conditions (a) leak to atmosphere or (b) intermix.

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Intermixing is prevented by the use of a double gasket. The two fluids are always separated by two
gaskets, the space between which is oven to atmosphere. If an unexpected gasket failure does occur, the
fluid will leak to atmosphere. Fresh water outlet:

Seawater leakage
Leakage pattern: (Inter-leakage impossible):

Exploded View of Plate Heat Exchanger:

Service and Repair of Plate Heat Exchangers:

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Dismantling of Cooler:
Opening may be required for mechanical cleaning, gasket or plate replacement or modification of the
plate heat exchanger.
All but two or four of the clamping bolts are loosened and removed from the unit, the remaining two or
four diagonally opposite bolts taking up the clamping load. The loads on these bolts are then released
evenly (so as to prevent dislocation of the plate pack) using a spanner or for larger units a mechanical
device (pneumatic or hydraulic). The removable cover can then be rolled back and all heat transfer
surfaces made accessible for inspection.
If the plate heat exchanger is opened at sea the pressure plate must be secured so that it cannot fall
towards the frame and injure those working, with the beat exchanger when the ship is rolling. The figure
below gives the cleaning procedure and securing the plates in open condition.

Cleaning the Plates:


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A plate heat exchanger can normally be maintained at design performance by employing a
suitable combination of:
1. Cleaning in place (CIP): The circulation of suitable cleaning agents, the unit being in fully
assembled condition.

Normal Operation:

2. Back flushing: The reversal of one or both fluid flows for short periods.

Position During Back Flushing:

3. Coarse filtration of incoming fluids.

4. Chlorination to prevent biological growth.

However, the plates should be inspected and cleaned regularly.

The operating staff in each particular case should determine the intervals. Every six months is
recommended under normal circumstances. The plates can be cleaned with water and a fiber brush
whilst hanging in the heat exchanger (see figure on page 19). Do not damage the rubber gaskets and
do not use a steel brush.
To carry out the cleaning, the unit is opened as above, and the plates cleaned by:
a) Hosing with warm water (possibly with the addition of a cleaning agent) and brushing the
plates, or
b) A high-pressure water/steam jet.

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The plates can be cleaned with a soda solution (soda ash) or a solution of water and synthetic detergents.
Caustic soda, ammonia or ammonia solution must not come into contact with plates of copper alloys.
Asphalt and oil deposits on the plates can be removed with a fiber brush dipped in while spirit - in more
difficult cases with benzene, toluene or trichlore ethylene. The vapor from these solvents is dangerous
and flammable and therefore the ventilation must be good.
Only in rare cases should it be necessary to remove the plates and subject them to more complicated
cleaning procedures.
The 0-rings in the connections, the gaskets and the sealing surfaces on the back of the plate should be
checked before the heat exchanger is reassembled. Remove particles and impurities from gaskets and
sealing surfaces.
Gasket Replacement:
Pull out the old gasket from the groove. If necessary, heat the back of the gasket groove with a hot- air
blower. A butane-gas burner can also be used but special care should be, observed, particularly if the
plates are of titanium. A suitable temperature is obtained if the flame is held 10 to 15cm behind the plate.
Do not use acetylene gas for heating. Charred or loose cement and rubber remains should be removed
by means of a rotating stainless steel brush. Clean the gasket groove with a clean cloth, dipped in a
solvent (acteone, methyl ketone, trichloretnyleite, etc). The gaskets should be dried with a clean cloth,
slightly moistened with a solvent. Gaskets may sometimes be slightly short or long. Short gaskets should
be stretched before being placed in the groove. Long gaskets should first be fitted in the grooves at the
plate ends and the gasket is then pushed into the groove towards the middle.
Two basic types of cement (adhesive) may be used for repairs:
1. Two-component, cold-curing epoxy cement, which gives a strong joint for high temperatures.
Removal of gaskets usually requires heating of the joint.
2. A one-component, rubber-based cement with limited temperature resistance. Removal of the
gasket can usually be carried out without heating of the cement joint.
In each case the detailed instructions provided should be strictly followed.
Note that industrial cement contains dangerous substances that may cause skin irritation, headaches, etc;
when a person has been exposed to them for a long period of time. All work should therefore be carried
out with good ventilation. Skin contact should be avoided and skin that has temporarily been in contact
with the cements should always be washed with soap and warm water.
Exchange of Plates:
A faulty plate can easily be removed and replaced by a spare plate. Check that the spare plates has holes
and gaskets arranged the same way as on the removed plate.
If a 4-port plate leaks and no spare plate is available, the leaking plate and the adjoining 4-port plate can
be removed from the plate pack. The capacity of the plate heat exchanger is then reduced, but usually
only slightly. The heat exchanger must be tightened to a correspondingly shorter plate pack length.

Fault Finding:

a) Reduced Cooling Efficiency: Open the plate heat exchanger and cheek the heat transfer surface
for deposits, which should be removed as described under Cleaning. Check that the flow rates
for oil and water are correct.

b) Leakage Visible on the Outside of the Plate: This fault can often be eliminated by tightening the
plate pack further, but not past the minimum measurement. Cheek that the gaskets and sealing
surface are clean and that the plates are not deformed. In extreme cases the gaskets may have to
be exchanged. The plates have double gaskets at the ports.

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c) This means that the two liquids do not mix if a gasket leaks but the leakage is towards the
outside. Leakage may also be caused by corrosion between the double gaskets or in the same
area of the adjoining plate.

d) Fresh Water or Lubricating Oil Volumes Decrease in the Respective Systems: Remove the lower
seawater valve. Apply a test pressure on the opposite side. There is a hole in one of the plates if
liquid flows from the side under pressure and out through the loosened connection. Exchange the
faulty plate. If no spare plate is available the plate can be removed with the exception of the
plates nearest the pressure plate and the connecting plates (the end plates). An adjoining 4-port
plate must then also be removed so that the rule: every other plate an A- plate and every other a
B-plate, is maintained.
Note: Internal leaks cannot be remedied by a further tightening of the plate, pack. Only external leaks
can be eliminated in this way.

How to Find a Faulty Plate:

The following method is recommended in order to find the plates that cause the internal leakage:
The following example is for lubricating oil cooler but the same applies to a fresh water cooler. Then
apply a test pressure with fresh water instead of oil. In favorable cases it is possible to find the leaking
plate through the dismantled lower seawater connection by means of applying a test pressure.

If not, proceed as follows:

1. Open the plate heat exchanger and clean seaweed etc; from the plates and let them dry.
2. Tighten the plate heat exchanger when the seawater side of the plates is completely dry.
3. Test the lubricating oil side hydrostatically. Inlet and outlet valves on the seawater side must be
closed. Leave the drain hole on the lower seawater connection open. This will show when oil,
leaks through and will also prevent the oil from filling the channels.
4. Stop the test when oil flows through the drain hole on the seawater side. Shut inlet and outlet
valves on the oil side and empty the oil in the plate heat exchanger into the oil drainage box.
5. Open the plate heat exchanger carefully so that oil does not enter the seawater side through the
6. It is now possible to find the plate or plates with holes. Oil will have penetrated through the holes
and formed an oil patch on the back of the defective plate. Note that the plates appositive the
defective ones will also have an oil film on the seawater side. Visual inspection with a strong
light behind the plate is recommended in order to determine which plate is defective. A wet patch
instead of an oil patch will be found on the back of the leaking plates when testing with water.

Tightening the Plate Pack:

The plate pack length is stated on the drawing and on the type plate. Two lengths are given on some heat
exchangers. The larger one is the plate pack length for a heat exchanger with new gaskets. As the gaskets
age it may be necessary to tighten the plate pack further but never to the smaller of the two
measurements. The plates may be become damaged if it is tightened further.
The tightening bolts should be tightened alternately and uniformly. Check the plate pack length on both
sides of the plate pack. Do not tighten when the heat exchanger is under pressure.

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Keep carrying bar and tightening bolts clean and lubricated (not painted). The rollers in the pressure
plate and the connecting plate should be lubricated with lubricating oil. The ball bearings in the roller
holders and tightening nuts should be greased with ball bearing grease.
Operating Notes:
Starting up and operation:
If possible open the valves for both liquids at the same time in order to avoid exposing the plates to one-
sided pressure.
The high turbulence normally prevents air pockets so that ventilation is not necessary. However, in the
case of extremely low velocities or thick fluids, the air should be expelled via open vent conditions.
All heat exchangers should be in operation simultaneously if several are connected in parallel.
Otherwise the maximum seawater flow rate may be exceeded and erosion damage can occur.
Shutting Down:
The hot fluid is first shut down, after which the cold fluid is allowed to circulate a few minutes to cool
the unit. All valves are then closed and any connections on the movable cover are removed.
The heat exchanger should be emptied, opened, cleaned thoroughly and then left open during longer
interruptions in the operation.
The features of gasketed-plate heat exchangers may be summarised as follows:
1. Low initial cost, due to its basic design, which combines high thermal efficiency with relatively
straightforward mass-production.
2. High heat transfer coefficients of both fluids are achieved. The film heat transfer coefficients
may be up to three times those achieved in a shell-and- tube unit. This is due to the turbulence
created by the corrugated plates and the absence of leakage streams which prevail in shell-and-
tube units. Counter current flow is readily achieved.
3. Coupled with high film heat transfer coefficients, plate units exhibit low fouling characteristics
in many services. This is due to high turbulence, low residence times, and non-stagnant regions
in the flow channels.
4. More than two fluids may be processed in a single unit.
5. Corrosion-resistant metals are required only for the heat transfer plates and ports. Stainless steel
and titanium, with their excellent corrosion-resistant properties, are standard plate materials.
6. Compared with shell-and-tube units, plate units are especially compact, with respect to volume,
weight and liquid hold-up. Despite their compactness, 2500 m2 of surface is available in a single
7. Plate units are extremely flexible and have a variety of plate designs to suit different application.
They may be altered rapidly to suit other services by adding or removing plates, or modifying
pass arrangements.
8. Only the plate edges are exposed to the atmosphere. The heat losses are negligible and no
insulation is required.
9. Inter-mixing of the two fluids cannot occur under gasket failure.
10. Small liquid hold-up provides rapid start-up and response to control function changes.
11. Plate units withstand thermal shocks and are vibration free. Flow-induced vibration has become
an important factor in the design of shell-and-tube heat exchangers in recent years.
12. The low fouling characteristics of the plate unit mean that less opening-up is required for
cleaning. When opening-up is required, however, the operation is rapid and straightforward, and
there is full accessibility to both sides of the plates for inspection and cleaning. Any plate may be
removed without removing other than the adjacent plate. Individual plates may be replaced
In more recent years, plate heat exchangers have frequently been employed, for jacket water and oil

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Advantages & Disadvantages of plate Coolers over Tube Coolers:
Advantages of Plate Coolers:
1. Plate coolers are smaller and lighter than a tube cooler giving the same performance.
2. No extra space is needed for dismantling (a tube cooler requires enough clearance at one end to
remove the tube nest).
3. Their higher efficiency is shown by the smaller size.
4. Plates can be added, in pairs, to increase capacity and similarly damaged plates are easily
removed, if necessary without replacement.
5. Inspection and cleaning is simple as is maintenance.
6. Turbulent flow helps to reduce deposits, which would interfere with heat flow.
7. With titanium plates virtually no corrosion or erosion.

Disadvantages of Plate Coolers:

1. In comparison with tube coolers in which leakage tubes are easily located and plugged, leaks in
plates are sometimes difficult to find because the plates cannot be pressurized and inspected with
the same ease as tube coolers.
2. Deterioration of joints is also a problem; they may be difficult to remove and there are
sometimes problems with bonding new joints.
3. Tube coolers may be preferred for lubricating oil cooling because of the pressure differential.
4. Cost is another drawback, there are a large number of expensive joints on plate coolers and the
plates are expensive.

Corrosion and Fouling:

By the careful choice of certain important design factors based on operational experience and the high
development of tube materials such as aluminium brass, copper nickel and other materials for special
conditions, corrosion troubles today are rare and when they do occur they can usually be traced to
indifferent operation or poor maintenance.
It has been proved that, provided a protective film is allowed conform on the internal surfaces of the
tubes during their very early service life, corrosion is unlikely to occur. Therefore, encourage this
condition by circulating the minimum quantity of raw water, particularly if it contains large amounts of
entrained air bubbles or is muddy or polluted, and avoid high speeds, which cause excessive turbulence
within the tubes.
General Wastage:
Over-acidic water prevents the formation of a stable protective film. This results in the tube being under
continuous attack and its thickness is gradually reduced until perforation takes place.
Impingement Attack:
Usually near the inlet end of the tubes and occurs when the protective oxide film is broken down and
prevented from re-forming by high water speeds. The breakdown of the film is promoted by the
presence of air bubbles and other particles entrained in the water.
Partial obstruction of tubes by debris or marine growth causes localised increase in both the velocity and
the turbulent characteristics of the by passing water. This can result in breakdown of the protective films
and failure of the tubes.
Partial obstructions are the most common cause of failure of heat exchanger tubes. The dangers of such
a failure can be alleviated by regular inspection and cleaning.
Ample, well-shaped water boxes and smooth tube inlets are features of units designed to avoid attack.
Proper design and adequate maintenance of the raw water system should limit ingress of entrained air
and debris.

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Deposit Attack:
This occurs beneath deposits of foreign matter. The metal under the deposit becomes anodic to the
adjacent metal so that electrolytic corrosion takes place. The best remedy is to remove any deposits,
particularly if the equipment is to be out of commission for a long period. When units are taken out of
commission for some time remove sludge or soft deposits from tubes and water boxes, then flush
through with hot water and dry out.

Anaerobic Attack:
This is caused by polluted waters, which break the stable protective film. In anaerobic conditions
bacteria liberate sulphurated hydrogen, which attacks the tube material, forming a non-protective
sulphide film. The attack has a progressive nature.
Stagnant conditions are conducive to this type of corrosion, and where a unit is to stand for some time,
drain the tubes, flush through with hot water and dry out. If the unit is contaminated with decay
organisms then these should be removed prior to washing out.

Abrasive solids, such as sand in the raw water, plus high water speeds, cause this. Good design does not
rely on high water velocities for efficient performance and therefore are less liable to this form of attack.
However as far as possible prevent the ingress of abrasive particles.
Corrosion Protection (Sea Water Side):
1. Coating (in water boxes) of Bonded Rubber, Bitumastic Type, Neoprene or Epoxie Resin.
2. Sacrificial Anodes (in water boxes) of Soft Iron, Mild Steel or Zinc. (These corrode and form a
protective coating on the tube surface).
3. Dosing: With 10% solution of Ferrous Sulphate (brown film formation) or Sodium Hypo-
chlorite - releases free chlorine into the water.

Inhibiting Marine Growth:

1. Correct use of filters.
2. Injection of chemical compounds:
Such as Chlorine, Copper sulphate, Sodium hypo-chlorite (0.5 ppm).

Avoiding Tube Erosion:

For any one-tube material, there is a limiting velocity above which there is a danger of erosion.
Therefore the velocity of raw water, particularly seawater, must be limited in order to avoid
impingement attack. This risk can be aggravated if there is sand or other abrasive matter in the
circulating water.
There also exists the risk of partial blockage of a tube or tubes, resulting in high local velocity and
erosion in way of the partial blockage. An accepted limit in the case of aluminium brass tubes for
example is in the region of 2 m/s; however it is advisable to designs for a lower velocity in order to
allow for proper flow control. Care must be exercised in this respect since too low a flow can result in
silt being deposited within the tubes.
The limiting fluid velocities for different materials above which there is danger of erosion are:
a) Aluminium Brass: 1.8 - 2.4 m/s.
b) 90/10 Cupro-Nickel: 3.0 - 3.5 m/s.
c) 70/30 Cupro-nickel: 3.6 4.0 m/s.
d) Admiralty (Naval) Brass: 1.5 1.8 m/s.
Note: If the water velocity is above 0.6 m/s microscopic marine organisms cannot settle.

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Corrosion Protection (Fresh water side):
Use of Chemical Inhibitors:
1. Cathodic type: Bicarbonates, Phosphates.
2. Anodic type: Nitrites and Chromates. e.g. Sodium Nitrite, Sodium Chromate, Potassium Bi-
chromate (+ Caustic Soda).
3. Adsorption type: Filming amines and soluble oils; tannins.

1. Fouling disturbs water flow (partially obstructed tubes), leading to rapid corrosion attack.
2. Fouling forms insulative layer on tubes, impeding heat transfer.

Fouling is caused by:

a) Debris, Silt, Sludge, Oily and Greasy deposits.
b) Marine growth (Algae slimes).
c) Hard Water Scales such as Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Sulphate, Silicate.

Heat Exchanger Materials:

Shell and Tube Type:

Tube stacks are generally constructed of aluminium brass. However, this material is not recommended
for services, which are subject to polluted waters. In these cases 70/30 copper nickel with 1% iron and
1% manganese offers greater resistance to impingement corrosion, polluted water and deposit attack.
Titanium has probably the best overall corrosion resistance and is normally used in those systems where
corrosion problems cannot be tolerated.
Tubes plates into which the tubes are secured by expanding (or in some cases solder-bonded) into the
tube plate are generally manufactured from cooper-based alloys in the cast or wrought form Naval brass
is the most common material used.
Headers (water-boxes) may be of gunmetal or aluminium bronze. Cast iron may also be used but is
subject to corrosion. Ni-resist cast iron has better corrosion resistance but is still liable to corrosion in
contact with more noble metals.

Plate Type:
The frames are made of mild steel and the plates are constructed of either titanium or aluminium brass
(76Cu/22Zn/2Al) when in contact with seawater or stainless steel for other applications.
Coastal and landlocked waters may be polluted with organic sulphides and other corrosive chemicals
that can cause serious corrosion problems in ships' cooling water systems, including coolers.
Accordingly special attention must be given to the materials used in these systems. Titanium is
recommended for these coolers having regard to its high corrosive resistant properties. Other materials
used in the construction of these units include titanium/palladium alloy, Incaloy 825 and Hasteloy C276.
A special coating is frequently applied to these areas of the plates subjected to high fluid velocity, e.g.
areas adjacent to the ports. The same coating is applied to the grooves to prevent crevice corrosion. It is
imperative that this is not damaged during overhaul.
The gaskets are made of nitrile rubber; resin cured butyl or asbestos for high temperature duties. Nitrile
rubber is the standard gasket material.
The frame is made of ordinary mild steel and the Liquids are in contact with the frame only in the
rubber-lined inlet and outlet ports. In some designs the inlet and outlet branches are of cast iron and are

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Heat Transfer Surfaces of Titanium:
Titanium has the characteristic of being self-healing If the oxide layer is damaged, it will re-form
immediately and corrosion or erosion thus has no chance to start. The surface is therefore completely
safe against all seawater attack.
The need for always keeping a velocity below a certain value, which is absolutely essential on the shell-
and-tube heat exchangers with tubes of aluminium brass or copper nickel, does not apply to titanium
plate heat exchangers. There is no velocity limit.

Condensers are typically built as a mild steel fusion-welded shell. A water box of cast iron or steel is
fitted at each end of the shell and, sandwiched between the flanges of the boxes and the shell are
Admiralty brass (70 Cu, 29 Zn, 1Sn) tube plates.

Tubes may be of Admiralty brass (not now common), aluminium brass, 90/10 cupro-nickel or 70/30
cupro-nickel. Where aluminium-brass tubes are used, the completed condenser has to be treated on the
waterside with ferrous sulphate in clean water, otherwise when working in estuarine waters the tubes can
be attacked and holed by sulphides in the water. In addition hollow plastic inserts may be fitted into the
inlet ends of the tubes to prevent inlet-end erosion.

Although 70/30 cupro-nickel should permit the use of a higher tube velocity, there is in practice a
reluctance to use tube water velocities much above 3.0 m/s even with this material, since in the event of
partial blockage of a tube or tubes, the local water velocity past the partial blockage could well approach
or exceed 5.5 m/s at which, for 70/30 cupro-nickel, adverse high velocity effects become significant.

Titanium Tubes:
Within the last few years, the use of titanium tubes for condensers operating with seawater has become
quite attractive. Formerly, by comparison with copper-based alloys, titanium was so expensive that its
use for condenser tubes could not be economically justified. Recently however, much more has become
known about those of its qualities, which render it an excellent tube material for seawater applications.
There is often confusion about the names of the materials commonly used in salt water systems,
particularly the copper alloys and stainless steels.

To clear above confusion the following detailed clarification will help:

1. Brass:
An alloy of copper and zinc of which the main constituent is copper. The name requires further
qualification to identify various alloys more precisely:

Material: Nominal Composition:

Aluminium brass 78% Cu; 20% Zn; 2%Al.
RNB (rolled naval brass.) 69% Cu; 30% Zn; 1% Sn.
70/30 brass 70% Cu; 30% Zn.
High tensile brass 55% Cu; 40% Zn; with Sn, Al, Fe, Mn.
(Sometimes erroneously called manganese bronze)

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2. Bronze:
An alloy of copper and another element (not zinc) of which the main constituent is copper. The name on
its own implies an alloy of copper and tin but it requires qualification to identify various alloys more

Material: Nominal Composition:

Phosphor bronze. 94% Cu; 6% Sn; with P.
Aluminium bronze. 80% Cu; 10% Al; 5% Ni; 5% Fe.
Manganese bronze. See High tensile brass.

3. Cupro nickel:
An alloy of copper and nickel qualified to denote the percentage of the two elements:

Material: Normal Composition:

90/10 Cupro-nickel. 90% Cu; 10% Ni with Fe and Mn.
70/30 Cupro-nickel. 70% Cu; 30% Ni with Fe and Mn.

4. Gunmetal:
This is essentially a tin bronze with additions of zinc and lead. The original alloy known as
Admiralty gunmetal contained 88% Cu, 10% Sn and 2% Zn. The more common variations today
contain lead at the expense of some of the tin and may have nickel added.

5. Monel metal:
This is a proprietary name of the International Nickel Co. Ltd. Which covers alloys, the main constituent
of which is nickel. The nominal composition is 70% Ni; 30% Cu with Fe and Mn.

6. Muntz metal:
An old name, which is still occasionally used to denote a 60/40 brass.

7. Stainless steel:
There are three main types of stainless steel, which behave very differently in a seawater environment,
as follows:
Austenitic. 18% Cr; 8% Ni; reminder Fe.
With stabilizing additions of molybdenum, titanium or
niobium. Not heat-treatable, non-magnetic and the most
corrosion resistant.
Martensitic. 16% Cr; 2% Ni; reminder Fe.
Can be hardened and tempered; strongly magnetic.
13% Chromium. 13% Cr; reminder Fe.
Can be hardened and tempered, magnetic. The least
corrosion resistant.

8. Titanium:
It may be used in the pure form as sheet or alloyed with aluminium and/or small amounts of other
elements. It is practically un-corrodable in seawater. Its limitation is its high price.


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General Notes on Operation and maintenance of Heat Exchangers:

The only attention that heat exchangers should require is to ensure that the heat transfer surfaces remain
substantially clean and the flow passages generally clear of obstruction. Indication that undue fouling is
occurring is given by a progressive increase in the temperature difference between the two fluids, over a
period of time usually accompanied by a noticeable rise in pressure loss at a given flow.
Fouling on the seawater side is the most usual cause of deterioration in performance. The method of
cleaning the seawater side surfaces depends upon the type of heat exchanger. With shell-and-tube heat
exchangers, the removal of the header covers or, in the case of the smaller heat exchangers, the headers
themselves, will provide access to the tubes. Obstructions, dirt, scale, etc., can then be removed, using
the tools provided by the heat exchanger manufacturer. Flushing through with fresh water is
recommended before a heat exchanger is returned to service. In some applications, such as piston oil
cooling, progressive fouling may take place on the outside of the tubes. Most manufacturers
recommended a chemical flushing process to remove this in-situ, without dismantling the heat
Plate heat exchangers may be cleaned by unclamping the stack of plates and mechanically cleaning the
surface of each plate as recommended by the manufacturers. Care must be taken not to damage the
protective coating applied around the ports and in the seal grooves. The plate seals may require
replacement from time to time and here the manufacturers' instructions should be closely followed.
Corrosion by seawater may occasionally cause perforation of heat transfer surfaces. This will cause
leakage of one fluid into the other but this is not always easy to detect whilst the leakage is small,
although substantial leaks may become evident through rapid loss of lubricating oil, jacket water, etc.

Location of a perforation is a straightforward matter in the case of a tubular beat exchanger, whether this
is of the shell-and-tube type or of other tubular construction. Having drained the heat exchanger of
seawater and removed the covers or headers to expose the tube ends, some flow of the liquid on the
other side of the surface will be apparent, in the case of oil and water coolers, from any tubes which are
perforated. To test for leaks in air coolers, drains coolers, etc. each tube in turn can be plugged at each
end and pressurised with air; inability to hold pressure indicates a leak.

To aid the detection of leaks in a large cooler such as a main condenser, in which it is difficult to get the
tubes dry enough to witness any seepage, it is usual to add a special fluorescent dye to the shell side of
the cooler. When an ultraviolet light is shone on to the tubes and tube plates any seepage is seen since
the dye glows with a vivid green light. In plate heat exchanges, the only way to locate leaks is by visual
inspection of the plate surfaces.
On docking for any protracted period, such as for repairs, refitting, etc. it is advisable to drain the sea-
water side Of heat exchangers, clean and flush through with fresh water, after which the heat exchanger
should be left drained, if possible until the Ship re-enters service.

Venting and Draining:

It is important that any heat exchanger through which seawater flows should run full. In vertically
mounted, single-pas heat exchangers of the shell-and-tube or plate types, venting will be automatic if
tires seawater flow up wards. This is also the case with heat exchangers mounted in the horizontal
attitude, with single or multi-pass tube arrangements, provided that the seawater inlet branch faces
downwards and the outlet branch upwards. With these arrangements, the water will drain substantially
completely out of the beat exchanger, when the remainder of the system is drained.

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With other arrangements, a vent cock fitted at the highest point in the heat exchanger should be opened
when first introducing seawater into the heat exchanger and thereafter periodically to ensure full
running. A drain plug at the lowest point should be provided.
Control of Temperature in Heat Exchangers:
There are three basic ways by which the temperature of the hot fluid being cooled in a heat exchanger
may be controlled, when the cooling medium is seawater:
a) By bypassing a proportion of the hot fluid flow, the remainder being passed through the
heat exchangers.
b) By throttling the seawater flow or alternatively bypassing a proportion of it.
c) By controlling the temperature of the seawater entering the heat exchanger - this is done
in the seawater system as a whole, by spilling part of the heated discharge back in to the
pump suction.
The last of these cannot provide a satisfactory degree of control by itself but is often used in conjunction
with one or the other two.

General Construction:
A modern surface condenser consists of a welded steel shell, through which pass a large number of
brass, cupro-nickel or aluminium-bronze tubes. At each end of the shell is fitted a cast-iron water end,
divided from the shell by a large brass tube plate. A circulating pump draws from the sea and delivers
through the condenser tubes and thence overboard. Depending on the number and arrangement of the
divisions in the water-ends, the circulating water may be made to pass through the shell one, two, three
or four times; hence the terms single-flow, two-flow, etc; condenser. See figures below:

Single Flow: Two Flow:

3 Flow: 4 Flow:

Condenser Water Flows:

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The tubes are fitted with screwed glands or ferrules where they pass through the tube plates or, at the
water-inlet ends, they may be expanded and bell-mouthed to streamline the water flow at entry, thus
reducing water-friction loss and pumping power. This could be seen in the figure given below.
Alternatively, the tubes may be roller-mouthed. In such cases means is incorporated in the condenser
design to accommodate differential expansion between the steel shell and the nonferrous tubes.

Hole- Coned at Tube End

Expanded and Bell-mouthed:

Outlet End: Inlet End:

Condenser Tube, Tube Plate and Packing:

Leakage and Wear:

Modern condensers, when fitted with tubes of cupro-nickel alloy, give little trouble due to leakage of
tubes, but ordinary brass tubes have, in the past, been the cause of many stoppages at sea. Brass is a
mixture of cooper and zinc (70:30), and under the conditions of working, an electrolytic or galvanic
action is set up between the particles of copper and zinc comprising the metal.
The action resembles that in a primary electric cell, with a rod of copper and a rod of zinc immersed in a
weak- solution of sulphuric acid. When the rods are joined externally, and electric current flows and the
zinc rod is gradually eaten away. In much the same way, the zinc particles in the brass tube were eaten
away (called de-zincification) until a hole was formed, which allowed seawater to enter the steam space
and mix with the pure condensate. Some of action was due to water turbulence, and it was found that
expanded tubes with bell-mouthed ends, giving a streamline flow, were beneficial. Zinc plates
(sacrificial anodes), fitted to the tube plate or to the nuts of stays helped to reduce the effects of galvanic
action. Some firms used soft-iron plates attached to the end covers. Their effect was apparently to exist
away, and in so doing to provide particles of iron oxide, which coated the inside of the tubes, thus
protecting the brass surface.
In addition to the above condenser tubes wear through a fracture at the ends or at the division plate due
to vibration caused by the high velocity of the exhaust steam. These are always possible sources if
Trouble is sometimes experienced with erosion of the first few centimeters at the inlet ends of the tubes.
This was formerly attributed to excessive water velocity, but more recent investigations have shown that
bad entry conditions are a more likely cause.

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In particular, pronounced water flow across the tube plate can cause breakaway of the flow at the inlet to
the tube, and the resulting impingement erodes the tube. See figure below.

Breakaway and Impingement at the Tube Inlet:

This effect can be minimised by bell-mouthing the tubes at the inlet and by designing the water boxes to
avoid pronounced cross flow. Plastic inserts may be fitted also. See figures given below:

Tube Bell-mouthed and Plastic Insert Fitted:

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Water Box Design:
Testing for Leaky Tubes:
The method of testing for individual leaky tubes is to blank off the condensate branch in the bottom of
the condenser, fill the steam space with fresh water and remove the end covers to note the tube ends
which are passing water.
If an independent air pump is fitted, start the air pump, creating a partial vacuum in the steam space,
which draws air in through the tubes, which are Leaking. These are found by testing the tube ends with a
lighted candle, the flame being drawn in with the air.
A more recently adopted test method makes use of fluorescent dye. Fluorescent dyes such as eosin and
fluorescein have the property of changing the short waves of ultraviolet light, which are invisible, into
long waves, which can be seen. Many uses can be made of this property and one of these aboard ship is
to detect leakage through condense tubes.
Roughly, about 0.25 kg of the dyestuff is mixed with 20 tones of water the mixture when introduced to
the steam side of a condenser will flow out through any crack or hole in a tube. With out this aid small
leaks are difficult to detect, since tubes and tube-plates are usually wet, leaks are difficult to detect, but
when introduced its presence is easily detected.
Directing the invisible rays from a ultra-violet lamp on to the tube plate does this. When, there is any
leakage, the water in the vicinity will appear greenish in colour.
The figure below illustrates this method:

Testing for Leaky Tubes:

Alternatively, a sheet of thin plastic material is placed over the waterside of each tube plate and the air
pump started. The suction effect passes through the holed tube or tubes, drawing the plastic into the
appropriate tube ends. Instead o the plastic sheets, special foam can be sprayed over the waterside of the
tube plate to perform the same function.

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Allowing for Contraction and Expansion:
The ferruled tube ends are sealed with cotton-cord saturated with boiled oil, or by patent zinc metallic
packing. The packing is inserted in a small stuffing box and secured in place by the screwed ferrule.
Some means must be provided to allow for the relative expansion and contraction of the tubes and shell.
In this method described the tube is free to expand and contract. When required, a projection on the
inside of the ferrule prevents the tube from working out of the tube plate.
The tube plates, which are under Compression from, the combined action of pressure of the atmosphere
and circulating water, are supported frown the inside by stays, about 25mm or more in diameter and set
at about 450mm pitch from one another. These stays are screwed at each end, pass through the tube
plates and are fitted with huts, washers and grommets inside and out.
To prevent undue deflection at the center of their length it is usual to fit one or more support plates
between the tube plates. These plates are drilled with clearing holes in line with the tube-plate holes, the
tubes passing through the holes and being supported there. The support plates positions and pitches are
chosen to discourage transverse tube vibrations.

Tube vibration can occur if natural frequency of the tube coincides with the running speed of the
turbines, and can be aggravated by steam buffeting. The tube vibration characteristics depend on the
pitching of the support plates, on the clearance between the tube and the support plate hole, on the tube
diameter, thickness and material and are of course also influenced by the fact that when in operation the
tubes are full with seawater.
Tube vibration can result in the tubes hammering on one another, often to such an extent that flats are
found in the outer surfaces of the tube, ultimately wearing through the tube thickness. Vibration can also
cause fatigue failure of the tubes at the support plate and behind the tube plates and can cause slackening
of the tube to tube-plate fixing.

Circulating water Velocity Through the Tubes:

The actual rate of heat transmission, which it is possible to achieve, depends in the first place largely on
the circulating water velocity through the tubes. The higher the water velocity, the thinner is the water
side film, the faster the heat is carried away, and hence the higher the rate of heat transmission. The
maximum tube velocity, which is possible to use is however limited by one or both of two factors, i.e.;
the tube material and the pumping power required circulating water in the condenser.

A considerable amount, of fresh water is consumed in a ship. The crew consumes on average about 70
litre/head/day and in a passenger ship consumption per capita can be as high as 225 litre/day. In
addition water will be consumed in any steam plant. In a steamship the consumption for the propulsion
plant and hotel services can be as high as 50 tonnes/day. Sufficient potable water may be taken on in
port to meet crew and passenger requirements but the quality of this water will be too poor for use in
water tube boilers and will require further treatment by distillation. It is common practice to take on only
a minimal supply of potable water and make up the rest by distillation of seawater. Even in vessels,
which carry sufficient potable water for normal requirements it is a statutory requirement that such
ships, when ocean going, should carry distillation plant for emergency use.
The main object of distillation is to produce water essentially free of salts. Potable water should contain
less than 500 mg/litre of suspended solids. Good quality boiler feed will contain less than 2.5 mg/litre.

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Seawater, on the other hand, has a total dissolved solids (TDS) content in the range 30000-42000
mg/litre, depending on its origin but, for most cases, the TDS is taken as 32000 mg/litre.

By bringing the water to its boiling point and drawing off the vapour the salts and other solids are left
behind in the liquid, a proportion of which is discarded. The vapour produced is essentially solids-free
although some solids are carried over, especially if the equipment is misused.
The equipment in which this process takes place is known as an evaporator of which there are two
distinct types. One type boils the water at the saturation temperature corresponding to the pressure in the
evaporator and is known as a boiling evaporator. See figure below.

Boiling Evaporator:

The other type heats the water in one compartment before it is released into a second compartment in
which the pressure is substantially lower, causing some of the water to flash into a vapour. This type is
known as a flash evaporator. Thus in a boiling evaporator the water is maintained continuously at its

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saturation temperature - in other words latent heat is added - while in the flash evaporator it is sensible
heat that is supplied.

Line Sketch of a Boiling Evaporator:

The submerged tube type of boiling evaporator was extensively used for many years. These evaporators
were bulky and heavy and, in the absence of constant, careful attention they primed readily, their
thermal performance was poor and they required frequent de-scaling, usually by physical effort.

The many advantages of evaporation at sub-atmospheric pressures namely, the improved heat transfer
between the heating steam and the salt feed water, the greatly reduced formation of (a much softer)
scale, the facility for using otherwise waste heat and the increased output per unit of weight and bulk
have brought about the development of a number of compact, simply-controlled evaporator-distiller
units. These enable even the largest passenger ships to produce economically all their requirements of
fresh water, with an attendant freedom of use.
Basically, these units incorporate an evaporating section beneath a condensing or distilling section in a
common vessel of appropriate shape. A controlled flow of filtered feed, taken preferably from a salt
circulating outlet, enters the evaporating section and ascends through a battery of vertical tubes,
surrounded by steam or hot water, vaporising as it goes, to the condensing section through a labyrinth or
screen (generally called a demister) which ensures that no droplets of salt water enter the condenser with
the vapour. The vapour, directed by suitably placed baffles, passes over the condenser tubes and falls as
water to an outlet duct, from which a distillate pump, via a salinometer, removes it. If acceptably pure,
i.e. not having a salinity over say 3 mg/litre, the distillate goes to the appropriate tanks; if not, a
solenoid- operated valve, energised by the salinometer, either dumps it to bilge or alternatively, the

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distillate pump is stopped (by electric relay from the salinometer) and the impure distillate is returned to
the evaporator for re-processing.
The evaporator-distiller vessel may be of cupro-nickel or other non-corrodible material or again, more
usually, of mild steel lined with a protective coating. The heating element tubes may he circular in
section, of aluminium brass, expanded top and bottom into RNB tube-plates; alternatively, they may be
thin-walled ellipses in section (to facilitate scale shedding by cold-water shocking) of Monel metal,
welded into similar tube-plates. The distiller tubes are U-form, made of aluminium brass and expanded
into RNB tube-plates.
The heating medium may be live steam or preferably and more commonly, exhaust or bled steam or
again, in motor ships, hot fresh water, taken from the cooling main between the engine and the fresh
water coolers. The distilling unit may he circulated by salt water or, depending upon the heat recovery
attainable in the boiler feed system, by main or auxiliary condensate.

Sea water Cooled Evaporator Heat Flow Diagram:

Heat flow diagram of a Condensate Cooled Evaporator:

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Figures above show the advantage of the latter arrangement. Sub-atmospheric pressure is produced in
the units by water-operated air ejectors; the brine density in the evaporating section is maintained at
0.062 g/ml.
Low Pressure Vacuum Type Evaporator:
The many advantage of evaporation at sub-atmospheric pressures namely, the improved heat transfer
between the heating steam and the salt feed water, the greatly reduced formation of a much softer scale,
the facility for using otherwise waste heat and the increased output per unit of weight and bulk have
brought about the development of a number of compact, simply controlled evaporators. These enable
even the largest passenger ships to produce economically all their requirements of fresh water, with an
attendant freedom of use.
Process Basically, these units incorporate an evaporating section beneath a condensing or distilling
section in a common vessel of appropriate shape. A controlled flow of filtered feed (through an orifice),
taken preferably from a salt water circulating outlet, enters the evaporating section and ascends through
a battery of vertical tubes, surrounded by steam or hot water, vaporizing as it goes, to the condensing
section through a labyrinth or screen (generally called a demister) which ensures that no droplets of salt
water enter the condenser with the vapor. The vapor, directed by suitably placed baffles, passes over the
condenser tubes and falls as water to an outlet duct, from which, a distillate pump, via a salinometer,
removes it. If acceptably pure, i.e. not having a salinity over say 3mg/litre, the distillate goes to the
appropriate tanks; if not, a solenoid-operated vale, energised by the salinometer, either dumps it to bilge
or alternatively, the distillate pump is stopped (by electric relay from the salinometer) and the impure
distillate is returned to the evaporator for re-processing.

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Line Sketch of a Low Pressure Vacuum Type Evaporator:

Parts of above evaporator:

This consists of a fabricated steel shell internally coated with rubber. Within the shell are the following:
a) Aluminium bronze tube or plate type heater (evaporator).
b) Titanium plate type condenser.
c) Knitted Monel wire demister.
1. The seawater pump supplies the feed and also creates the required vacuum inside the shell
through the air and brine ejectors.
2. Heat from the engine jacket cooling water is used to evaporate a small friction of the seawater
3. Un-evaporated seawater is discharged as brine.
4. Vapor passes through demister to condenser.
5. Condensate is pumped to freshwater storage tank.
6. Solenoid controlled dump vale diverts flow to bilge if salinity of water exceeds 6 ppm.

Flash evaporators:
The temperature at which water boils is related to its pressure, e.g., 100*C at atmospheric pressure. This
principle is employed in flash evaporators, i.e. heated sea water if fed into a vessel maintained at sub-
atmospheric pressure, flashes into steam, is condensed by contact with tubes circulated with the salt feed
and is removed by a distillate pump. Baffles suitably placed and demisters, similar to those already
described, prevent carry-over of saline droplets; the arrangements for continuous monitoring for purity
of the distillate are similar to those described above.
If two or more vessels in series are maintained at progressively lower absolute pressures, the process can
be repeated, the incoming salt feed absorbing the latent heat of the steam in each stage, with a resultant
gain in economy of heat and fuel. This is known as Cascade evaporation, a term which is self-
explanatory. Figure below shows a two-stage flash evaporator distiller.

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Flow diagram of a Cascade Evaporator (Caird & Rayner Ltd.):

The flash chambers are maintained at very low absolute pressures by ejectors, steam or water operated,
the salt feed is heated initially by the condensing vapour in the flash chambers, secondly in its passage
through the ejector condenser (when steam-operated ejectors are used) and is raised to its final
temperature in a heater supplied with low pressure exhaust steam. Brine density is maintained, as in the
case of the evaporator-distillers described previously, by an excess of feed over evaporation and the
removal of the excess by a pump some re-circulation of brine may be provided for, in certain

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Line Sketch of a Double Stage Flash Evaporator:
The construction of a two stage flash evaporator is shown in the figure above. It consists of two
symmetrical flash chambers. Sea water is pumped through the control valve "A" to the second stage and
then to the first stage vapor condensers wherein it increases in temperature before it is heated in the heat
exchanger to 80*C The pressurized heated sea water then flows through an orifice into the first flash
chamber whose low pressure corresponds to a saturation temperature less than that of the incoming
heated sea water. Hence some of the water evaporates, in order that its temperature can fall to around
that which corresponds to the pressure of the chamber. The un-evaporated water flows through another
orifice, which maintains the pressure difference, into the second chamber where more water evaporates,
since the pressure is lower than in the first chamber. A brine pump extracts the low-density un-
evaporated water and discharges it overboard. Some may however return to the suction side of the feed
pump via the auto valve "B" to maintain the feed water temperature at 30*C.
The vapor and non-condensable gases in each of the chambers pass through the demisters and then over
and down through the vapor condensers. Distillate flows from the first stage to the second stage through
an orifice and is then extracted by a distillate pump. A salinity detector controls the distillate pump and if
the density is too high the pump stops and the distillate passes over the double loop seal to the brine
pump suction to be discharged overboard. The non-condensable vapors or gases are extracted by the air
ejector, which maintains the high vacuum condition in the chambers.

Salt-water leaks and detection:

It is imperative that any inadvertent introduction of salt water to the boiler feed system, from tube or
tube plate leakage in heat exchangers, mal-operation of the distillation plant or any other reason, is
detected and rectified as soon as possible. Samples will be drawn from the boilers and from the boiler
feed at regular intervals (at least once a day) and tested with a hydrometer for any change in density
which would indicate a change in dissolved solids and by chemical titration to show the chloride

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content, but the first indication of salt water ingress will be given by an electric salinometer. This device
continuously monitors the salinity of the condensate and initiates an audible alarm if the water condition
deteriorates below a predetermined value. In some cases the salinometer also initiates the action of a
dump or diversion valve. Such an instrument is capable of detecting 0.28 mg/litre of chlorine in water.

Fresh Water Generators:

Reverse Osmosis Desalination:
When a solution, which has a chemical potential, is separated from pure water, which has a lower
chemical potential, by a semi-permeable membrane, i.e. a membrane which will allow the passage of
water but not salt, then pure water will flow through the membrane so as to reduce the potential of the
salt solution. See figure below.

This process will continue until all the pure water has passed through the membrane or until the
hydrostatic head of the salt solution is sufficiently high to arrest the process. At this latter point the
hydrostatic pressure is known as the Osmotic-pressure (See figure below) of the salt solution at its
particular concentration.

Reverse osmosis, as the name implies, is the use of this phenomenon in the reverse direction resulting in
water being forced through the membrane from the concentrated solution to the more dilute. This
reverse flow is achieved by applying a pressure, higher than the Osmotic pressure of the concentrated
solution, to the concentrate side of the membrane. The sketch below illustrates the above principle.

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The semi-permeable membrane and the parchment are like filters. They allow the water molecules
through but not the larger molecules of dissolved substances. The phenomenon is important not only for
the absorption of water through the roots of plants but in animal and plant systems generally.
Reverse osmosis is a water filtration process (as shown in the sketch below), which makes use of semi-
permeable membrane-like materials. Salt (sea) water on one side of the membrane is pressurized by a
pump and forced against the material. Pure water passes through but the membrane is able to prevent
passage of the salts.

For production of large amounts of pure water, the membrane area must be large and it must he arranged
in a configuration, which makes it strong enough to withstand the very high pump pressure needed.
The man-made membrane material used for seawater purification is produced in the form of flimsy
polyamide or polysulphonate sheets, which without backing would not be strong enough. The difficulty

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of combining the requirements of very large area with adequate reinforcement of the thin sheets is dealt
with by making up spirally wound cartridges as shown in the sketch below.

Spirally Wound Cartridge for Reverse Osmosis.

The core of the cartridge is a porous tube to which are attached the open edges of a large number of
envelopes each made of two sheets of the membrane material. The envelopes, sealed together on three
sides, contain a sheet of porous substance, which acts as the path to the central porous tube for water,
which is squeezed through the membranes. Coarse gauze sheets separate the envelopes. Assembled
envelopes and separators initially have the appearance of a book opened so that the covers are in contact,
the spine or binding forming a central tube. The finished cartridge is produced by rotating the actual
central tube, so that envelopes and separators are wrapped around it in a spiral, to form a cylindrical
shape. Cartridges with end spacers are housed in tubes of stainless steel as shown in the figure below or
other material.

The number of cartridge tubes in parallel governs output of the reverse osmosis plant. Quality is
improved by installing sets of tubes in series.

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Line Diagram of a Reverse Osmosis Potable Water Generator:
One problem with any filtration system is that deposit accumulates and gradually blocks the filter.
Design of the cartridges is therefore such that the seawater feed passes through the spiral windings and
over the membrane sheets with a washing action that assists in keeping the surfaces clear of deposit.
A dosing chemical, sodium hexametaphosphate, is also added to assist the action.
The pump delivery pressure for a reverse osmosis system of 60bar (900 lb/in2) calls for a robust
reciprocating or gear pump. The system must he protected by a relief arrangement.
Pre-treatment and post-treatment:
Seawater feed for reverse osmosis plant, is pretreated before being passed through. The chemical sodium
hexametaphosphate is added to assist the wash through of salt deposit on the surface of the elements and
the seawater is sterilized to remove bacteria, which would otherwise become resident in the filter. The
compressed carbon filter reduces chlorine while the other filters remove solids. Treatment is also
necessary to make the water product of reverse osmosis potable. The method is much the same as for
water produced in low temperature evaporators.
The rate of flow of pure water through the membrane depends on the temperature of the water and the
net driving pressure. In a real system the net driving pressure is less than the applied, owing to a
number of factors.
They are:
1. For reverse osmosis to take place, the osmotic pressure of the solution must be overcome.
2. To avoid a concentration of salt in the boundary laver next to the membrane surface, the solution
must flow over the membrane and therefore pressure must be applied to overcome the frictional
pressure losses.

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3. As pure water is removed from the original solution the salt concentration increases and
therefore the osmotic pressure increases. The initial net driving pressure must be high enough to
account for these.
Terms Used in Osmosis Systems:
1. Osmosis: When a membrane separates fluids of different concentrations in a vessel, the dilute
solution will flow through the membrane into the concentrated solution.
2. Osmotic pressure: The level of the dilute solution drops and the level of the concentrated
solution rise until equilibrium is reached. The pressure difference between the two levels is the
Osmotic pressure.
3. Reverse osmosis: If a pressure in excess of the osmotic pressure is applied to the concentrated
solution, the flow is reversed from the concentrated solution to the diluted solution.
Reason for distillate treatment and Water from Shore sources:
There is a risk that water supplied from ashore may contain harmful organisms, which can multiply and
infect drinking or washing water storage tanks. All water from ashore, whether for drinking or washing
purposes, is to be sterilized. When chlorine is used, the dose must he such as to give a concentration of
The Department of Transport recommends in Merchant Shipping Notice number M1214 that because of
the risk from Legionella bacteria entering the respiratory system by way of fine mist from a shower
spray, all water including that for washing only, should be treated by sterilization. The transfer hose for
fresh water is to be marked and kept exclusively for that purpose. The ends must be capped after use and
the hose must be stored clear of the deck to reduce the risk of contamination.
The low operating temperature of the evaporator described, is not sufficient to sterilize the product.
Despite precautions near the coast, harmful organisms may enter with the seawater and pass through to
the domestic water tank and system. Additionally there is likelihood that while in the domestic tank,
water may become infested with bacteria, due to a build up of a colony of organisms from some initial
contamination. Sterilization by the addition of chlorine is recommended in Merchant Shipping Notice
M1214. A later notice, M1401, states that the Electro-Katadyn process in use since the 1960s has also
been approved.
Another problem with distilled water is that having none of the dissolved solids common in fresh water
it tastes flat. It also tends to be slightly acidic due to its ready absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2). This
condition makes it corrosive to pipe systems and less than beneficial to the human digestive tract.
Domestic water tanks:
Harmful organisms in drinking water storage tanks have caused major health problems on passenger
vessels and in general to ship's crews and personnel working on oil platforms. To eliminate this problem,
water storage tanks should be pumped out at six-month intervals and, if necessary, the surfaces should
be hosed to down clean them. At the 12-month inspection, recoating may be needed in addition to the
cleaning. Washing with a 50 ppm solution of chlorine is suggested. Super-chlorinating when the vessel
is dry-docked, consists of leaving a 50 ppm chlorine solution in the tank over a four hour period,
followed by flushing with clean water.
The steel tank surfaces may be prepared for coating by wire brushing and priming. Subsequently a
cement wash is applied or an epoxy or other coating suitable for use in fresh water tanks.
Chlorine sterilization and conditioning:
Initial treatment involves passing the distillate through a neutralite unit containing magnesium and
calcium carbonate. Some absorption of carbon dioxide from the water and the neutralizing effect of
these compounds, removes acidity. The addition of hardness salts also gives the water a better taste.
The sterilizing agent chlorine, being a gas, is carried into the water as a constituent of sodium
hypochlorite (a liquid) or in granules of calcium chloride dissolved in water. The addition is set to bring
chlorine content to 0.2 ppm. While the water resides in the domestic tank, chlorine should preserve

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sterility. In the long term, it will evaporate so that further additions of chlorine may be needed. The
passage of water from storage tanks to the domestic system is by way of an activated carbon filter,
which removes the chlorine taste.

Chlorine Sterilization and Conditioning plant:

Summary of operation for production of drinking water on ships:
1. To give alkalinity and to improve the taste of insipid water, carbonates of calcium and
magnesium are used as a filter bed in a neutralizer.
2. To sterilise the water chlorine is, used, this would normally be solution of hypochlorite or
possibly the powder calcium chloride. About 0.25 to 1 kg of chlorine would be required for every
1,000,000 kg of water.
3. To produce clear water it can be passed through a sand bed filter.
4. To improve taste a de-chlorination process is used. Chlorinated water is passed through an
activated carbon filter bed, which will absorb excess chlorine. (See figure below).

Note: Neutraliser, sand bed filter and carbon bed filter can all have their flows reversed for cleaning
Electro-Katadyn method of sterilization:

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Electro-Katadyn Sterilization:

The Electro-katadyn process accepted as an alternative to chlorination (see M- Notice 1401) involves the
use of a driven silver anode to inject silver ions (Ag+) into the distilled water product of the low
temperature evaporator. Silver is toxic to the various risk organisms. Unlike the gas chlorine, it will not
evaporate but remains suspended in the water.
The sterilizer is placed close to the production equipment with the conditioning unit being installed after
the sterilizer and before the storage tank.
The current setting controls the amount of metal released to water passing through the unit. If a large
volume has to be treated, only part is bypassed through and a high current setting is used to inject a large
amount of silver. The bypassed water is then added to the rest in the pipeline. With low water flow, all of
the water is delivered through the device and the current setting is such as to give a concentration of 0.1
ppm of silver. The silver content of water in the domestic system, should he 0.08 ppm maximum.

Ultra-violet sterilizer:
A means for sterilizing potable water at the point of use, is provided an many offshore installations and
ships, by an ultra-violet radiation unit which is positioned after the hydrophore tank and as close as
possible to the tap supply points. The stainless steel irradiation chamber contains low-pressure mercury
vapour tubes, housed in a quartz jacket. Tubes are wired in series with a transformer for safety. A wiper
is fitted within the chamber to clean the jackets and lamp observation window. Units of a similar type
are used for pretreatment disinfections in some reverse osmosis plant.


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The condensate or product, if of acceptable quality, is delivered to the appropriate tanks by the distilled
water pump. The salinometer both at start up and during operation continuously tests quality. If the
device registers an excess of salinity it will dump the product and activate the alarm using its solenoid
valves. The product is recirculated in some installations.
The electric salinometer:
Pure distilled water may be considered a non-conductor of electricity. The addition of impurities such as
salts in solution increases the conductivity of the water, and this can be measured. Since the conductivity
of the water is, for low concentrations, related to the impurity content, a conductivity meter can be used
to monitor the salinity of the water. The instrument can be calibrated in units of conductivity
(micrornhos) or directly in salinity units (older instruments in grains/gall; newer instruments in ppm or
mg/litre) and it is on this basis that electric salinometers operate. Such a unit schematic diagram of
solinometer is shown below.

Schematic diagram of Salinometer (W. Crockatt & Sons Ltd):

The probe type electrode cell is fitted into the pipeline from the evaporator, co-axially through a
retractable valve, which permits it to be withdrawn for examination and cleaning. The cell cannot be
removed while the valve is open and consists of two stainless steel concentric electrodes having a
temperature compensator located within the hollow inner electrode. It operates within the limits of water
pressure up to 10.5 bar and water temperatures between 15*C and 110*C.
The incoming A.C. mains from control switch S2 through fuses FS, feed transformer T. A pilot lamp SLI
on the 24 V secondary winding indicates the circuit is live.

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The indicating circuit comprises an applied voltage across the electrode cell and the indicator. The
indicator shows the salinity by measuring the current, which at a preset value actuates the alarm circuit-
warning relay. The transformer cell tapped voltage is applied across a series circuit comprising the
bridge rectifier Mrec, the current limiting resistor RI and the electrode cell. The current from rectifier
Mrec divides into two paths, one through the temperature compensator F via resistor R2 and the other
through the alarm relay potentiometer (Pot) indicator MA and resistor R3, the two paths joining in a
common return to the low potential side of the rectifier.

Probe Type Electrode Cell:

A semi-conductor in shunt protects the indicator from overload across the indicator and potentiometer.
When the water temperature is at the lower limit of the compensated range the total resistance of the
compensator is in circuit and the two paths are as described above. As the temperature of the water rises,
the resistance of the compensator device drops progressively, the electrical path through the
compensator now has a lower resistance than the other and a large proportion of the cell current. The
compensator therefore ensures that the alteration in the balance of the resistances of the two paths
corresponds to the increased water conductivity due to the rise in temperature and a correct reading is
thus obtained over the compensated range. The alarm setting is adjustable and the contacts of the
warning relay close to light a lamp or sound a horn when salinity exceeds the acceptable level.
The salinometer is also arranged to control a solenoid-operated valve, which dumps unacceptable feed
water to the bilge or recirculates. The salinometer and valve reset automatically when the alarm
condition clears.



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As the cost of fuel rises, shipping will soon have to cope with poorer quality fuels, which, depending on
origin, will contain various impurities such as ash, harmful salts and water. These impurities have to be
removed or there level minimised, before the fuel is burnt in the engine. Failure to do this results in
damage to the fuel injection equipment, corrosion and accelerated wear of the engine cylinder liner and
In trunk-type diesel engines even the slightest blow-past of combustion products into the crankcase has a
profound effect on the lubricating oil if the fuel used is of a poor quality. Such lubricating oils need to be
constantly purified.
There are several possible ways to remove impurities in fuel and lubricating oils. These are:
1. Gravitational separation.
2. Filtration.
3. Homogenizing.
4. Centrifugal separation.

While all the above methods have their advantages and disadvantages, centrifugal separation has always
proved to be the most efficient. The separator most frequently adopted onboard ships is the disc type
separator with solid bowl and the self-cleaning bowl, which permits fully automatic operation. It must
be remembered that the most important advantage of the centrifugal separator is its ability to remove
solid and liquid impurities simultaneously.
Separators with solid bowls, requires be stopping and cleaned frequently. This would be inconvenient to
the crew. If a solid bowl separator must be chosen, then it must have a large sludge capacity (even if
smaller ones offer the same optimum capacity). Some engine builders and classification societies
recommend only the self-cleaning types for the purification of heavy fuel oil and lubricating oil used in
trunk piston engines. For this reason, a number of progressive shipping companies have replaced their
older purifiers with automatic self-cleaning types.
The essential condition for centrifugal separation is that the individual liquids which make up the feed
should be separable - both by gravity in a settling container, and by centrifugal force, in a centrifugal
separator. Naturally, centrifugal separation is quicker and much more efficient.
Principle of Operation Clarification:
If a solid-liquid mixture is placed in a vertical container, the heavier solid particles will settle down
under the effect of gravity.

Different Settling Vessels:

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Settling time is dependent on layer height. Additionally, clarification effect increases with increasing
density difference between the liquid and the solids.
In a rotating vessel the heaver solid particles settle around the inner periphery of the bowl much more
quickly under the influence of centrifugal force.

Rotating Vessel:

Principle of Operation SEPARATION:

Separation, in this context, refers to the separation of two liquids with the simultaneous separation of

The sketch shows a settling vessel with one feed inlet and two discharges, which can continuously
separate a liquid mixture while simultaneously removing solids.
Here, h must be so adjusted that 1 h1 = 2 h2, i.e. equal hydrostatic pressure prevails.
For the arrangement to work successfully, it is necessary to first introduce the heavier liquid (e.g. water)
until discharge is observed at the water outlet (water sealing). Next, the mixture is added. With this type
of arrangement, settling capacity is dependent on residence time necessary for complete separation of
individual components.

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The above sketch shows the settling vessel rotated about an axis. What has been stated in the previous
page is still valid, i.e. separation of the mixture is still effected; however, the centrifugal field being
much more than the gravitational field of the previous case, the relationship for the hydrostatic
condition: 1h1= 2h2 no longer applies.
Instead, the following relationship holds good for the rotating separator bowl:

As the liquid pressure increases as the square of the distance from the axis of rotation.
Bowl Shape:
In marine practice two types of bowl are found in centrifugal purifiers: the tubular bowl manufactured
by Sharples, 110 mm diameter and 760 mm long, and the disc type bowl of larger diameter, but about
500 mm height, manufactured by Alfa-Laval, Westfalia, and Mitsubishi.
Tubular Bowls:
When considering the mechanics of bowl design, it was found that for the same material strength it was
possible to achieve the maximum acceleration field in bowls of small diameter running at high speeds.
In spite of the small diameter, tubular bowls have relatively high bowl content, but low sludge capacity,
and therefore only suitable for liquids with low solids content. The ratio of bowl length to bowl diameter
with tubular bowls is approximately 7:1, and in the case of disc type bowls, approximately 1:1.
The liquid to be clarified flows through the tubular bowl axially in a thin layer of annular X-section,
outlet diameter, d. Hence, in spite of high acceleration field at the periphery, the only acceleration field
utilized, corresponds to the diameter of the overflow weir d.

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Tubular bowls are relatively easy to clean in spite of their height. Because of their length and high
speeds of operation, they require special drives.

Principles of Tubular Bowl Operation:

Flow of Liquid in Tubular Bowl: Clarification: Separation:


The moving parts of the centrifuge consist of a horizontal shaft, connected to a motor by a centrifugal
frictional clutch. This shaft drives the vertical shaft of the bowl through the worm gear.

The Bowl:
Efficiency of separating depends on the speed of the bowl, which develops 5000 - 7000 times the force
of gravity. Additionally, two further principles are involved; thin strata distribution and balanced column

Thin Strata Distribution:

The bowl is fitted with up to 150 conical stainless steel intermediate discs. These are kept 0.5 to 0.6 mm
apart by a series of caulks (see sketch).
The untreated oil is led into the distributor of the rotating bowl slough a feed tube where it is accelerated
to bowl speed. It is then carried to the periphery of the bowl by centrifugal force and passes up through
the disc pack, towards the oil outlet. The actual separation takes place in the channel formed between
each two intermediate discs. The velocity of the oil is greatest at the centre and nearly zero at the disc
surface. Two forces act upon each particle, solid or liquid, one pushing it with the oil stream towards the
centre of the bowl and the centrifugal force, pulling towards the periphery. The result determines the
path of the particle between the discs. The separated particle must be deposited on the upper digs (B -

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Balanced Column:
The liquid freed is normally a mixture of oil, solids and water, which separate out into three layers. A
quantity of water remains in the bowl throught the running period and this forms complete seal around
the underside of the top disc and confines the oil within the outside diameter of the top disc. Thus a
column of water balances a column of oil.

Key: 1: Bowl hood; 2: Lock Ring; 3: Sliding bowl bottom; 4: Bowl body; 5: Disc stack.
Left Figure: Conical disc stack: Separator bowl (Courtesy Alpha-Laval):
Right Sketch: Path of limit particle through separation channel:

Normally, as there is a small quantity of water in the feed it is necessary to prime the bowl before each
run, otherwise all the oil will pass over the waterside to waste. The cylindrical division between oil and
water is known as the interface.

The Interface:
The position of the interface is critical for effective purification. The bowl is adjusted for separation of
liquid mixtures, with different specific gravities, by altering the diameter of the heavy phase (water)
outlet. For this purpose a number of gravity discs with different hole-diameters are supplied with each
machine. The higher the density of the lighter phase, the smaller the hole.

However, care must be taken to ensure that the disc is not too small, as this will result in the
interface forming within the disc pack, reducing the separating efficiency. If the hole is too large,
the interface will form outside the top disc, permitting the oil to escape to waste.

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Other factors influencing the position of the interface are viscosity, flow rate and density variation.
A decrease in viscosity due to an increase in temperature, a decrease in flow rate, or a decrease in
density, will result in the interface moving into the disc pack, reducing efficiency.
Conversely, an increase in viscosity due to a decrease in temperature, an increase in flow rate, or
an increase in density will move the interface toward the periphery, resulting in loss of the liquid
seal. This can be noticed by the operator or detected by the instruments.
The optimum position of the interface is between the edge of the disc stack and the outer diameter
of the top disc.

There are two modes of operation: Purification and Clarification. The purifier, in the marine industry, is
used for separating water from oil. Water, being heavier, is forced towards the bowl periphery of the
bowl and the lighter oil moves to the center. Each leaves the separator through its own out let. Any
solids will accumulate at the periphery.

For separating solids from liquids a clarifier is used. Its bowl has only one outlet for the treated or clean
liquid, the extracted solids accumulating at the periphery.
In the sketch below, arrangement for purification is shown on the left and for clarification, on the right.

Left Side: Purification: Right Side: Clarification:

Key: 1: Dirty oil; 2: Clean oil outlet; 3: Water outlet; 4: Oil water Interface (purifier section); 5: Sludge.

Operation of a Disc Type Purifier:

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For the purpose of centrifugal treatment and effective separation a viscosity of 40 cSt or less is
recommended at the separating temperature. E.g. 600 cSt oil at 50*C will reach 50 cSt at 98*C. Higher
temperatures are desirable but not recommended as evaporation of the liquid seal would result. Thus
throughput must be proportionally reduced to compensate for higher viscosity.
Virtually all fuel separators today are of the self-cleaning type. On ocean-going ships, at least one,
standby machine of the same size and type is normally installed. Series operation is recommended. The
first stage machine arranged as a purifier and the second stage as a clarifier. This mode of operation
gives a very good separation result and also acts as a safety device in the event of the interface moving
into the disc stack in the first stage.
As the separator is operating near its limits when treating modern heavy fuels, the additional protection
provided by the clarifier is required.
Finally, for good performance of the ship's entire fuel system following points must be considered:
1. Settling tank with slopping or hopper bottom.
2. Duplex filter after day tank, and after settling tank.
3. Water level indicators in both tanks.
4. Oil outlet to centrifuge above highest possible sludge level in task.
Mode of operation
Recommendation: Both main and stand-by separators should be in operation to provide for maximum
use of installed cleaning capacity.

Operation in series:
Recommendation: The two separators should preferably be operated in series (purifier followed by
clarifier) as shown in the figure below.

Principle of Operation in Series:

Comments: The clarifier following the purifier in operation in series will give an additional
improvement to the separation result and also acts as a safety net if the interface of the proceeding
purifier for any reason has moved into the disc stack. This additional security that the clarifier provides
is important since cleaning of today's low- grade heavy fuel oil means operation near the limit of the
purifier performance. Any water separated in the clarifier is collected with the sludge at the periphery of
the bowl and is discharged with the separated sludge.

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Heavy Fuel Oil Treatment Layout on a vessel
As Recommended by Sulzer Diesel Engine Manufacturers:

Remark: The air vents and drainpipes of main engine must have continuous slope of minimum 5%.
Purifier room must be independent from engine room space and must have its own ventilation
and oil-fire fighting system. Generally it has its own sludge tank.

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Operation in parallel:
An alternative to operation in series is to operate the main and stand-by separators as purifiers in
parallel, each purifier running at 50% of the total required flow rate.

Principle of Operation in Parallel:

Operation in parallel results in better sludge handling capacity, which is important if the oil contains
excessive amounts of sludge.
The pretreatment and cleaning:
It must be recognized that a system is required in order to obtain optimum results from the pre-treatment
and cleaning of today's low- grade heavy fuel oil.
Design considerations:
Some major points to be considered when designing a complete system are (See figure next page):
1. Different tanks should be provided for oils of different origin unless they are proved to be
compatible. The tanks should be designed in such a way that they can be properly emptied.
Otherwise there is risk for incompatibility problems when bunkering new oil on top of
previously bunkered oil.
2. Inlet of oil from bunker tanks should be placed at the top of the settling tank. Otherwise there is a
risk for too low temperature at the suction point for the separator feed pump.
3. Level switches should be installed for topping-up the settling tank to avoid temperature
fluctuations at the suction point for the separator feed pump.
4. Temperature control should be installed to minimize temperature fluctuations in the settling tank.
This is important in order to be able to maintain a constant separation temperature. The
temperature in the settling tank should not be below 40-50*C. Otherwise the oil may not be
5. The settling tank should have a sloping bottom for the collection of water and heavy sludge. The
main purpose of the settling tank from the cleaning point aspect is:
To act as buffer tank.
To provide a constant temperature.
To settle and drain gross water contamination.
6. A sensor should be installed to give a signal when high water level is reached to secure proper
draining of the settling tank.
7. The plant should have separate pumps of positive displacement type as feed pumps operating at a
constant flow rate. Note that two pumps are recommended; one running and one stand-by.

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Major points to consider when designing a pretreatment and cleaning system:

8. A strainer should be incorporated in the suction line of the feed pump to remove coarse particles.
9. A pneumatic constant flow regulating system is recommended. By means of such a system it is
possible to achieve the calculated required flow rate of the cleaning plant and also to maintain a
constant flow rate to the separators. Furthermore it is possible to distribute the flow between
separators operating in parallel.
10. The separation temperature should be constant. A control circuit including a temperature
transmitter, a PI-type controller with accuracy of 2*C and a correctly sized steam valve
should be installed. The steam trap should be of the float type.
11. The system should have a purifier for separating sludge and water including slugs of water.
12. The system also should have a clarifier for additional improvement of the separation result and
for safely.
13. The separators should be connected so that they can be operated as purifiers in single operation
in case of failure of any of the separators. Also the separators should be connected so that they
can operate as purifiers in parallel in case of excessive sludge in the oil.
14. An overflow pipe should be installed from the day tank to the settling tank. Also the overflow
pipe should be connected to the lower part of the day tank to re-circulate water that may get into
the oil after the separators (due to condensation, coil leakage etc.).
15. The day tank should have a sloping bottom to collect water and sludge.
16. A sensor should be installed to give a signal when high water level is reached to secure proper
draining of the day tank.
17. Attention should be paid to recommended detailed flow charts, installation diagrams and
Installation Specifications of the engine builder and purifier manufacturer.
18. An additional separator is recommended for cleaning diesel oil.

Quality -Heavy Fuel Oil:

The quality of heavy fuel oil used in diesel engines on board ship and in power stations is changing
worldwide. Consequently, there is an increased demand for efficient cleaning in order to achieve reliable
and economical operation of diesel engines burning low-grade heavy fuel oil.
The most important quality change affecting the cleaning of heavy fuel oil is the increase in density.

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Conventional cleaning with purifiers:
Conventional cleaning plants are based on purifier type separators. The generally accepted maximum
density limit for purifier operation is 991 kg/m3 at 15*C.
Fuel oils with densities above 991 kg/m3 at 15*C can be burned in diesel engines if the fuels could be
efficiently cleaned. Such fuels are currently available on the market. They are used as steam boiler fuel
for turbine ships. Consequently, the purifier restricts the use of available fuels in diesel engines.
Separation Results:
In order to achieve optimum separation results with purifiers, the so-called interface position must be
correct. Gravity discs control the interface position. To get the correct interface position the purifier must
be fitted with the correct gravity disc. As the density of heavy fuel oil increases, it becomes difficult to
maintain the correct interface position for optimum separation results.
Limitations with purifiers:
The basic problem in treating low-grade heavy fuel oil in purifiers is the gravity disc.
It restricts the use of diesel engine fuel oils to oils with a maximum density of 991 kg/m3 at
Optimum separation depends on selecting the correct gravity disc corresponding to the prevailing
density, viscosity, temperature and flow rate.
Checking and fitting the gravity disc is a time-consuming and unpleasant task. Since the correct
gravity disc is defined as the largest disc that does not cause a broken water seal, it can be a
frustrating trial-and-error process. Alarms for broken water seals can be frequent.

Alfa-Laval intermittent discharge-Centrifuge:

Figure below shows a centrifuge bowl capable of being programmed for periodic and regular dumping
of the bowl contents to remove the sludge build-up.

The sludge discharge takes place through a number of slots in the bowl wall. Between discharges these
slots are closed by the sliding bowl bottom, which constitutes an inner, sliding bottom in the separating
space. The sliding bowl bottom is forced upwards against a seal ring by the pressure of the operating
liquid contained in the space below it. This exceeds the counteracting downward pressure from the
process liquid, because the underside of the sliding bowl bottom has a larger pressure surface (radius R1)
than its upper side (radius R2). Operating liquid is supplied on the underside of the bowl via a device
known as the paring disc. This maintains a constant operating liquid annulus (radius R3) under the bowl,
as its pumping effect neutralizes the static pressure from the supply. When the sludge is to be

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discharged, operating liquid is supplied through the outer, wider supply tube so that if flows over the
lower edge of the paring chamber (radius R4) and continues through a channel out to the upper side of a
sliding ring, the operating slide. Between discharges, the operating slide is pressed upwards by coil
springs. It is now forced downwards by the liquid pressure, thereby opening discharge valves from the
space below the sliding bowl bottom so that the operating liquid in this space flows out (b).

When the pressure exerted by the operating liquid against the underside of the sliding bowl bottom
diminishes, the latter is forced downwards and opens, so that the sludge is ejected from the bowl through
the slots in the bowl wall. Any remaining liquid on the upper side of the operating slide drains through a
nozzle g (c). This nozzle is always open but is so small that the outflow is negligible during the bowl
opening sequence.

On completion of sludge discharge, the coil springs again force the operating-slide upwards (d), thus
shutting off the discharge valves from the space below the sliding bowl bottom. Operating liquid is
supplied through the outer, wider tube, but only enough to flow to the space below the sliding bowl
bottom and force the latter upwards so that the bowl is closed. (If too much liquid is supplied, it will
flow into the channel to the operating slide and the bowl will open again.)

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The outer, wider inlet is now closed while the inner, narrower one is open (e). The paring disc counter-
balances the static pressure from the operating liquid supply, and the bowl is ready to receive a further
charge of oil. The situation is identical with that shown in the first illustration of the series but with the
difference that the sludge discharge cycle is now accomplished.

Periodically the purifier bowl should be stripped and thoroughly cleaned. It is important to remember
that this is a precision built piece of equipment, which has been carefully balanced and all parts should
be treated with the utmost care.

Heavy Density Fuel Treatment (ALCAP System):

The main features of the ALCAP separation Alpha-Laval system are:

The FOPX separator, which has no gravity discs.
A water transducer, which monitors changes in the water content in the cleaned oil.

The major benefits are:

Fuel oils with densities up to 1010 kgIM3 at 150 C can be efficiently cleaned with respect to
water and solid particles.
Optimum separation is continuously maintained since the separated water never enters into the
disc stack.
Simple operation. No adjustments of the cleaning plant are required due to fluctuations in
density, viscosity, flow rate and other factors.

The ALCAP separation system presented in this notes is designed specifically for heavy fuel oil and
must not be used for other applications such as lubricating oil, distillate fuel or marine diesel oil. The
density of the oil must not be below 900 kg/m3 at 15*C.
For optimum separation temperature fluctuations should not exceed 5*C. This is important for heavy
fuel oil with viscosity 380 eSt/50*C and higher as the recommended separation temperature is 98*C.

The density of a fuel tested at 15*C may approach, be equal to or greater than that of water. With high-
density fuels, the reduction in density differential between fuel and water can cause a problem with
separation but not with the usual solid impurities. Heating of the fuel (see figure on the next page) will
reduce the density and this may be sufficient in itself to obviate the problem of water separation. The
change in density of water with temperature (dotted line) is not so pronounced, as can he seen from the
graph, so that beating produces a differential. Some caution must be exercised in heating the fuel.

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Temperature/ Density Graph (Courtesy Alpha-Laval):
The ALCAP Concept:
The ALCAP separation system as shown below consists of:
An FOPX separator.
A water transducer, type WT 100.
A microprocessor, type MARST 1.
A water drain valve.

The Alpha-Laval ALCAP Concept:

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The Alfa-Laval design of centrifuge as shown in the figure below is intended for dealing with high-
density residual fuels, is a self-sludging machine, which has a flow control disc that makes it virtually a

Alpha-Laval FOPX Separator Showing Discharge of Water:

There are no gravity discs to be changed to make the machine suitable for fuels of different specific
gravity/density. Heating is used to reduce the density (and viscosity) of the fuel so that water and sludge
accumulate in the outer part of the bowl, as the result of the centrifugal effect. As the interface moves
inwards, but before reaching the disc stack, water droplets flow through to reach a water sensing
transducer. Via microprocessor circuitry, the transducer causes the bowl to self-sludge or the water to be
discharged through the water drain valve. The system is said to be capable of handling fuels with
densities as high as 1010 kg/m3 at 15*C. The Self-Cleaning Separator Westfalia Type OSA:

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Phases of automatic total desludging on WS Type: OSA:
The operation of the above separator: Closing the Bowl:

1. Start up separator. Open and shut operating liquid intermittently.

2. Operating liquid flows into injection chamber, then through supply holes into the closing
3. Liquid pressure builds up in closing chamber, lifts piston, pressing it against sealing ring on bowl
top. Separation can commence.


1. Open Operating liquid.

2. Operating liquid flows into injection chamber and then through to closing chamber, and when
this is full, it flows onto opening chamber.
3. Some liquid escapes from vent, in opening chamber but at a lesser rate than it enters.
4. Effective area in opening chamber being greater, the resultant force moves the piston down.
5. Ejection ports open and sludge is discharged.

Opening the Bowl (Desludging): Shut oil feed and also fresh water feed if used.

Closing the Bowl (See sketch on the next page):

1. After desludging, shut operating liquid.

2. Trapped liquid in opening chamber leaks out of vent; this reduces pressure in opening chamber.
3. Residue water in closing chamber forces bowl up.
4. Open and shut operating liquid in brief spurts.
5. Now create water seal in the bowl and then start the oil feed for starting purification.

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Hand Sketch to show the closing and in operation mode:
Treatment of Fuel oils:
Marine diesel oils are either pure distillates or mixtures of light and heavy fraction fuel oils, while heavy
oils are mixtures of heavy fraction cracking or distillation residues with lighter fraction distillates.
Depending on the origion, impurities are present in these oils, absorbed during storage and
transportation or naturally contained in them. These impurities have the following effects: wear on
injector nozzles, fuel pumps, cylinder liners and pistons, valve leaking, gumming up, ineffective cooling
and incomplete combustion. The highest requirements as to quality are imposed on gas turbine fuel oils.
In particular, it is ensured that the maximum permissible contents of the harmful trace elements sodium,
potassium, calcium, and vanadium are not exceed because these elements - with the exception of
calcium - lead, at high gas temperatures, to corrosion at the turbine and -except for vanadium - often
cause pronounced deposits on the blades. As a result the efficiency of the turbine is reduced and the
running time between overhauls is reduced considerably.
Gas and Diesel Oils:
Gas and Diesel oils are purified in one stage at temperatures between 20- 60*C. The temperature is
determined by the type and paraffin content of the oil. As fuel oils are generally susceptible to water, it is
only permissible to add small quantities of water to them during separation. In order to maintain the
water seal formed in the separation bowl, only a little fresh water is added. This also has the effect that
part of the water soluble salts in the oil are removed with the quantity of water added.
Heavy Oils:
These generally tend to form emulsions easily. For this reason the addition of water is restricted to only
a few drops per second. The separation temperature according to viscosity is between 80- 98*C. Heavy
oils can be separated both in one stage (separation) and in two stages (separation and clarification). In
the separation stage the main dirt content and the water are centrifuged out; in the clarification stage, the
remaining dirt. For the second stage it is possible to use either separator with solid bowl or a self-
cleaning separator. The often-desirable reduction of sulfur content is not possible by centrifugal

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Treatment of Lubrication Oils:
During operation, the lubricating oil of large power units, whether diesel engines or turbines are
subjected to continuous contamination. All rotating or sliding parts deposit metallic impurities. These
together with dust, condensation, and decomposition products are deposited in the lubricating oil sump.
Oils can also contain acids which in combination with catalytically acting foreign matter, cause
premature ageing of the oil. This process is prevented by separation, and the life of the oil is
considerably extended. In the case of diesel engines, particularly trunk type engines, combustion
residues and incombustible components pass from the cylinder into the sump. Sulphurous and
combustion residues of the fuel oil in combination with the steam occurring in the cylinder during
combustion form, on condensation, acid water which leads to widespread corrosion at the bearing pins,
pistons and cylinders. With large diesel engines, leakage can occur both at the cylinder liners and at the
water-cooled pistons. Use of a separator has frequently protected the main power unit from damage,
which would otherwise have been unavoidable. In the case of turbine sets, in addition to impurities
caused by metal abrasion, water which has penetrated into the lubricating oil system must also be
completely removed in order to prevent premature ageing of the oil,
Continuous Bye-pass Purification of Diesel Engine Lubricating Oil:
Continuous bye-pass oil purification is recommended. In this way all undesirable substances including
the water are continuously removed. In particular, heavy duty oils should be separated continuously 24
hours a day and if possible, a few hours more after stopping the diesel engine. As the dispersion
properties of the additives are dependent on time, particles, which have just separated from the working
surface, can be removed more easily with early separation. It is important that the optimum through put
rate of the separator stated for a particular type of oil is not exceeded. It is the intention of the following
to show the effect the number of daily separation operations of the oil has on the degree of purity of the
oil. Here, it is assumed that for a water-cooled 15,000 kW cross-head diesel engine with an oil capacity
of 20 m3 (below) the separator of Type X has been ideally designed in accordance wish instance B for
specified three times daily separation of the oil.

Oil Separated: Once Daily: 3 Times daily: 5 Times daily:

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Some observations regarding lubricating oil separation as indicated with respect to separation
daily, 3 times daily and 5 times daily:

Incorrect: Correct: Incorrect:

In spite of the separator of Type The separator has been ideally With separation of the oil five
X over-dimensioned for the designed. Separation three times times daily a higher throughput
given throughput rate, daily daily just suffices to maintain the rate results. The separator of
single separation of the oil is permissible degree of Type X is too small for this.
insufficient. The probability of contamination of the oil in Increase in the degree of
all dirt particles being picked up continuous service at a constant contamination reaches an
is very low. The degree of level. excessive level.
contamination rises
Remedy: Increase daily Remedy: None necessary Remedy: For the higher
circulation of oil through throughput rate resulting from
separator. increased circulation a
correspondingly larger separator
should be chosen. Then this
solution is better than the one
given instance B, i.e. the degree
of contamination of the oil in
continuous service is lower than

Lubricating Oil Tanks:

Not only is the throughput and capacity of the purifier of importance. Also important is the size and
design of the lubricating oil tank.
Because of the high rate of circulation, correct dimensioning is important such that the oil can be passed
through the tank via deflectors and passages and be allowed sufficient settling time over a maximum
possible length to aerate, deposit impurities and water.
Additionally, it should be noted, that the suction line of the separator should be connected nearest to the
section in which the oil passing through can give off the most water.
Make-up Water (Water Washing):
Mineral oil separators should always be equipped with a make up water regulating device to permit
proper metering of even very small quantities of water.
In the case of premium oils it is advisable to add 2- 5 % fresh water to the lubricating oil. This has the
effect of combining small dirt particles less than 10 microns in size finely dispersed in the lubricating oil
to form much larger particles of 30- 40 microns which can then be separated much more efficiently in
the separator.
With high additive, water susceptible fuel oils (Heavy duty oils) treatment with make-up water should
only be carried out with the agreement of the oil manufacturer because of the possible danger of
washing out additives and emulsification. Most heavy-duty oils will not suffer from drip addition of
fresh water. Water-free heavy-duty oils can be purified without hesitation in a separator designed as a
In practice, however, most heavy-duty oil separators are set for the separation of water, as water is very
frequently to be found in the lubricating oil system. It is important here that the bowl of the heavy-duty
oil separator is correctly set.

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It can happen on a heavy-duty oil separator correctly set on initial start up, that after a few months
operating period some oil emerges from the water side. The operator will then believe that the bowl is
incorrectly set, (i.e. the regulating disc inside diameter is too large) and will then fit a regulating disc of
smaller inside diameter. As no traces of water will now be present at the outlet, he thinks he has cured
the problem, but he has nevertheless made a mistake.
This is explained as follows:
In new oils there is a more or less sharply defined oil/water interface. In older oils and water susceptible
heavy oils, the interface is between oil and an emulsion zone. If this interface is allowed to move to the
periphery of the bowl, then some water is discharged with oil. Some oil wastage may result, but this is
preferred to fitting a smaller regulating disc and moving the oil/emulsion interface inwards. The latter
condition results in water carry-over with the oil - which is not desirable.

The homogenizer (Vickers Type: See figure above) provides an alternative solution to the problem of
water in high-density fuels. It can be used to emulsify a small percentage for injection into the engine
with the fuel. This is in contradiction to the normal aim of removing all water, which in the free state can
cause gassing of fuel pumps, corrosion and other problems. However, experiments in fuel economy have
led to the installation of homogenizers on some ships to deal with a deliberate mixture of up to 10%
water in fuel. The homogenizer is fitted in the pipeline between service tank and engine so that the fuel
is used immediately.
It is suggested that the water in a high-density fuel could be emulsified so that the fuel could be used in
the engine, without problems. A homogenizer could not be used in place of a purifier for diesel fuel, as it
does not remove abrasives such as aluminium and silicon, other metallic compounds or ash-forming
sodium which damages exhaust valves.

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The three disc stacks in the rotating carrier of the Vickers type homogenizer are turned at about 1200
rev/min. Their freedom to move radially outwards means that the centrifugal effect throws them hard
against the lining tyre of the homogenizer casing. Pressure and the rotating contact break down sludges
and water trapped between the discs and tyre, and the general stirring action aids mixing.
Purification and dewatering of lubricating oils and fuels by means of centrifugal separators:
By F J Loddenkemper. Westfalia Separator AG.
Centrifuging of marine oils, by George A. F. Brown, Alfa-Laval Co. Ltd.
MER August 1981 and other separator manufacturers instruction manuals.
********************************End of Separators*******************************

Pollution From Ships:

Oil pollution is an International issue. Industries and ships discharge oil into the sea, river and on land.
Such pollution causes environmental problems, deterioration of marine life. If we do not take measures
to prevent or reduce oil pollution we will be wasting our precious energy source. Monetary losses due to
such oil pollution cannot be easily evaluated.
To understand how to pollution is caused and how to prevent it we shall approach the topic in the
following sequence.

Basic Background of The Convention:

In order to give some idea of what it is hoped will be achieved by the regulations it is perhaps useful at
this stage to make some reference to the background of the Convention. Firstly, there is nothing new
about governments introducing measures to prevent pollution from ships. For many years most of the
maritime nations have had some form of legislation prohibiting the discharge of oil or oily mixtures in
their territorial waters. In this respect it is interesting to note that as far as the UK is concerned such
legislation has existed since as far back as 1922.

It was not until 1954 that an international conference was held in London from, which evolved the
"International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil, 1954". This Convention,
which entered into force in 1958, prohibited the discharge of what are known as persistent oils (crude
oil, fuel oil, lubricating oil or heavy diesel oil) or oily mixtures into certain areas of the sea. These
persistent oils are also sometimes referred to as black oils. An oily mixture for the purpose of the
Convention is a mixture containing.100 parts per million (100 ppm) or more of the prohibited oils. The
prohibited areas were all sea areas, which lay within 50 miles from the nearest land; in certain areas,
which were considered to be particularly vulnerable, wider prohibited areas were established.
Amendments were made to the 1954 Convention in 1962 and again in 1969. The 1969 amendments have
now been adopted and came into force on 20th January 1978.
The 1973 Convention applies to all types of vessels, operating in the marine environment including
hydrofoil boats, air cushion vehicles, drilling rigs, fixed and floating platforms. It covers all aspects of
international and accidental pollution from ships or by oil or noxious substance (chemicals) carried in
bulk or in packages, sewage and garbage.
The Articles, which are the international agreements, provide the legal regulatory framework upon
which the Convention is built and as such will not be of direct concern to the classification societies.
What is particularly significant is that the National authorities are permitted to delegate the
responsibilities of survey and certification to the classification societies.

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The Convention itself, as far as regulations in regard to construction and operational requirements are
concerned, is divided into five Annexes, the headings of which can be briefly summarised as follows:

Annex I: Oil
Annex II: Chemicals (liquid)
Annex III: Chemicals (packaged)
Annex IV: Sewage
Annex V: Garbage

Need for Legislation:

The need for such legislation is that free oil and oily emulsions discharged in a waterway can interfere
with natural processes such as photosynthesis and re-aeration, resulting in destruction of the algae and
plankton so essential to fish life. Inshore discharge of oil can cause damage to bird life and mass
pollution of beaches. Ships found discharging water containing more than 100 mg/litre of oil or
discharging more than 60 litres of oil per nautical mile can be heavily fined, as also can the ship's
Master. In consequence it is important that oil/water separators are correctly installed, used and
maintained. A study made by the US Academy of Sciences in 1975 estimated that at least 6 million tons
of petroleum hydrocarbons are introduced into the oceans annually. It can be seen from the chart that
35% of oil-pollution is generated by ships.

Sources of Petroleum going into the Oceans: Million Tons Annually (mta):

The 35% of the ocean pollution caused by ships represents about 2 million tons of oil discharged
annually. Most of this oil discharge is the result of routine operating practices.
Sources of Oil Pollution from Ships:
There are various methods by which oil can enter the sea and cause pollution, many of which can be
prevented. This Section of the Manual sets out methods of avoiding and preventing the discharge,
spillage and leakage of oil into the sea.
The sources from which oil can enter the sea are:
1. From oil fields under the sea, either by natural seepage, or offshore oil production operations
where failure of faulty operation of oil drilling rigs and ship can and does occur.
2. From marine casualties such as stranding of ships and collisions of oil tankers and vessels other
than oil tankers, which carry oil as cargo or fuel.

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3. From any ship when disposing of fuel oil residues and oily bilges.
4. From oil tanker operations where oil is discharged as a result of tank cleaning procedures and de-
ballasting operations.
5. From vessels other than oil tankers during ballasting and cleaning fuel tanks and the discharge of
this ballast and washings.
6. From oil terminal operations where oil can be spilled during loading and unloading cargo and the
bunkering of all types of ships and barges; this includes vessels alongside terminals or moored to
an offshore buoy terminal.
7. From operations in transferring oil from one vessel to another, such as in the case of the
lightering operations or bunkering from barges.
8. From land sources such as discarded lubricants and other liquid hydrocarbons.
9. From hydrocarbon fallout from the atmosphere.

Basic MARPOL Regulation:

The MARPOL regulations governing precise effluent qualities of oil-water mixtures being discharged,
affect tankers over 150 grt and other ships over 400 grt.
1. Beyond 50 nautical miles from land the discharge of tanker cargo slops must not exceed 60 liters
per nautical mile with a vessel en-route, and 115,000 of cargo capacity for new ships.
2. Bilge and ballasted fuel tank discharges, from tankers and other vessels en route beyond 12
nautical miles from land must not exceed 100 ppm of oil.
3. Within 50 nautical miles of land, tanker cargo slops and, with in 12 miles of land, bilge and
ballast discharges from fuel tanks, which leave visible traces of oil, or contain more than 1.5 ppm
of oil, are prohibited.

Reduction of Oil Pollution from Tankers:

In tankers, oil pollution can be reduced by:
a) Design improvement - Introducing slop tank and segregated ballast tanks.
b) Operational procedures - Load on -top, Crude oil washing (for crude carrier only),
ballasting and de-ballasting CBT.
c) Equipments - Oil monitoring systems, Part flow system etc.

Machinery Space Discharges:

(Basic Regulation)

a) Ships of 400 tons gross and above must be fitted with an oily water separating equipment
of filtering system. Over 10,000 tons grass an oil discharge monitoring and control
system will be required, which will ensure that the discharge is not more than 100 ppm.

b) The discharge must be stopped automatically when this level is exceeded. Alternatively,
the oily water separator may be used in conjunction with an oil filtering system of
approved type, which will limit the oil content in the effluent to 15 ppm. An alarm must
be fitted to indicate when this level cannot be maintained.
c) Should the oil content in the discharge exceed 100 ppm the discharge be automatically
stopped. A holding tank is provided so that, in port, the bilge water can be discharged
direct to this tank. Standard discharge connections are also provided so that discharge can
take place direct to reception facilities when necessary.

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Figure above shows a bilge discharge arrangement to the oily water separator. With this system the oily
bilge pump would normally be used on a daily basis discharging through the separator, but in this case
the GS pump and the bilge pump are also capable of discharge to the separator, or directly overboard. It
will be noted that the oil-in-water monitor is arranged so that the discharge can be monitored whether
discharge is through the separator or directly overboard.

Equipments Used to Detect/ Reduce Pollution:

Oil Separators:
Probably the most practical separator for shipboard use in handling the large volumes involved in tanker
cargo slops when an effluent quality of 100 ppm is required is the gravity type.
The design of this depends solely on the differences in specific gravity between oil and water. Separation
takes place passively i.e. no moving parts are needed. So it is completely un-powered except for external
input and output pumps.
A gravity-type separator is normally incapable of achieving 15ppm effluent quality.

Gravity Oil/ Water Separators:

1. The Simplex-Turbulo oil/water separator:
The Simplex-Turbulo oil/water separator as shown in the figure below consists of a vertical cylindrical
pressure vessel containing a number of inverted conical plates. The oily water enters the separator in the
upper half of the unit and is directed downwards to the conical plates.

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Key: 1: Clean water run-off. 2: Outlet. 3: Oil accumulation space connection. 4: Riser pipes.
5: Inlet connection.
Simplex- Turbulo Oil/ Water Separator:

Large globules of oil separate out in the upper part of the separator. The smaller globules are carried by
the water into the spaces between the plates. The rising velocity of the globules carries them upwards
where they become trapped by the under-surfaces of the plates and coalesce until the enlarged globules
have sufficient rising velocity to travel along the plate surface and break away at the periphery. The oil
rises, is caught underneath an annular baffle and is then led up through the turbulent inlet area by risers
to collect in the dome of the separator. The water leaves the conical plate pack via a central pipe, which
is connected to a flange at the base of the separator.
Two test cocks are provided to observe the depth of oil collected in the separator dome. When oil is seen
at the lower test cock, the oil drain valve must be opened. An automatic air release valve is located in the
separator dome. An electronically operated oil drainage valve is also frequently fitted. This works on an
electric signal given by liquid level probes in the separator. Visual and audible oil overload indicators
may also be fitted.

To assist separation steam coils or electric heaters are fitted in the upper part pf the separator. Where
high viscosity oils are to be separated additional heating coils are installed in the lower part. Before
initial operation, the separator must be filled with clean water. To a large extent the conical plates are
self-cleaning but periodically the top of the vessel should be removed and the plates examined for sludge
build-up and corrosion. It is important that neither this separator nor any other type is run at over
capacity. When a separator is overloaded the flow becomes turbulent causing re-entrainment of the oil
and consequent deterioration of the effluent quality.

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The Comyn Oil/ Water Separator:
The figure below is a diagram of the Comyn oil water separator, and the manufacturers issue the
following operating instructions.
General procedure: Before pumping oily water into the separator it is important that the separator is
completely filled with clean water, either direct from the sea or through the filling valve provided for
this purpose. It is essential to keep the lower internal surfaces and outer chamber from becoming coated
with oil.

Key: 1: Escape valve. 2: Oil recovery valve. 3: Scum valve. 4: Cleaning valve. 5: High level test.
6: Deep level test. 7: Steam to coil. 8: Exhaust from coil. 9: Bosses for electronic probes.
11: Drain to bilge. 12: Test cock (water discharge). 13: Pressure gauge.
14: Pressure gauge connection. 15: Water outlet N. R. valve. 16: Mixture inlet test valve.
21: Ring and blank plate. 22: Coil steam heater
The 'Comyn' Separator: (Alexander Esplen & Co. Ltd.)

To fill the separator, slightly open scum valve 3, also high level test and air release valve 5 to vent the
separator during filling. When water flows freely from these valves close and stop filling. Close the
filling valve. Before commencing to pump oily water through the separator, ensure that water discharge
valve on ship's side is open, to allow the water effluent to be pumped overboard.
Slightly open both mixture inlet test valve and high-level test valve. Leave these two valves slightly
open during the working of the separator. Valve 16 will indicate the nature of the mixture entering the
separator, while valve 5 will free the separator of air and also denote the presence of oil within the oil
recovery dome.
Procedure while using automatic control: Switch on the electronic control panel. If water completely
covers the electronic probe the green indicator light will show. Alternatively, if the water level in the oil
dome, after filling, is below the level of the electronic probe, the red indicator light will show, in
addition to the green indicator light, and the alarm bell will ring. Note that oil has exactly the same effect

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on the electronic probe as air. Check that the emergency hand control wheel fitted to the automatic oil
outlet valve 2, is in the open position. Check that the operating air or water pressure is 1.4-3.5 bar.
Open air or water supply to solenoid pressure control valve. On commencing to pump oily water into the
separator, the clean water surrounding the electronic probe causes the coil of the solenoid pressure
controller to become energised and move the pilot valve to the open position, closing the outlet
previously open to vent. Air is permitted to pass to the top of the diaphragm operated oil discharge valve
2 and immediately closes it.
As the pressure within the separator builds up to approximately 0.75 bar the spring-loaded water
discharge valve opens. A gradual build-down of oil takes place, which, in time, completely covers the
electronic probe. At this juncture the control unit de-energises the coil of the pressure control valve,
returning it to the open to vent position. This permits the spring assisted oil recovery valve 2 to open,
and any oil present within the separator is automatically discharged back to the oil storage tanks. The red
and green indicator lights will show on the control panel. When valve 2 opens and due to the fact that
the recovered oil is being discharged against atmospheric pressure the pressure within the separator falls
to zero and the water discharge valve 15 automatically closes. Therefore it is impossible to discharge
water while recovering oil.
The red indicator light on the control panel will go out when the oil recovery dome is free of oil and the
electronic probe again immersed in water, the air or water pressure is again restored to the top of the
diaphragm in the oil recovery valve 2, which causes it to close. The pressure is once more increased
within the separator, which opens the water discharge valve 15.
General: Deep level test valve 6 is fitted to the centre oil chamber and indicates the level within the
separator at which the oil must be recovered, in order to prevent overloading the separator.
Scum valve 3 is provided for cleaning purposes, and should be opened periodically to draw off any
accumulated oil, particularly if it is suspected that the separator has become dirty or overloaded.
Test cock 12 on the side of the separator is fitted to allow samples of the water effluent to be taken. Such
samples should be taken in a beaker, preferably glass, and should traces of oil be present, immediately
open scum valve 3. Oil showing at 12 may also mean that the separator has become fouled, in which
case it should he cleaned by steaming out.
It is important that the rated throughput is not exceeded.
Recovered oil valve 2: This is a diaphragm-operated pressure closing type of valve, with a spring
incorporated to assist in the opening. When the pumping of oily water has been completed it is advisable
to pump clean water through the separator until all oil has been recovered, thus leaving the separator
clean for the next time. A full separator lessens the risk of corrosion. The non-return spring-loaded water
discharge valve 15 set at approximately 0.5bar is fitted to the water outlet. Apart from its function
previously described, this valve pre-vents siphoning, should the separator be positioned above the
overboard discharge valve on the ship's side. Siphoning, if permitted once pumping has stopped, would
allow any oil remaining in the separator to be pulled down and foul the lower internal surfaces of the
separator, and possibly be carried overboard.

The 15ppm Separation:

To meet the requirement of legislation which came into force in October 1983 and which requires that
the oil content of bilge discharges be reduced in general to 100ppm and to 15ppm in special areas and
within 12 nautical miles of land, a second stage coalescer was added in some designs. Filter elements in
the second stage remove any small droplets of oil in the discharge and cause them to be held until they
form larger droplets (coalesce). As the larger globules form, they rise to the oil collecting space.
To achieve this level, the two most common approaches have been to use of filter of coalescer, either
alone or in combination, and with, or without, preliminary gravity separation.

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The pure filter-type tends to be cheaper initially, but is prone to operational problems and has been
characterised by a continuing cost of labour involved in replacing damaged or clogged filter elements.
Storage and handling of used and spare filter cartridges present additional problems of space and
By adding a preliminary step of gravity separation the filters are less affected by solid waste, but for this
combination the initial purchase price is generally higher and the unit is larger for a given capacity. The
most common problem with filter separation is blockage caused by slugs of cold oil clogging the
element. Filters must be changed before the unit will resume operation.
Most coalescer-type separators also include an element of separation. This makes them somewhat more
expensive in initial cost. But they have a much lower life cycle cost than either the pure filter or the
combination filter/gravity tank types.

Simplex-Turbulo Oil/Water Separator with Coalescer:

Simplex- Turbulo separator with Turbulo filter:

Turbulo separators with the "Turbulo" Filter are used for the separation of oil from bilge and ballast
water. The complete plant consists of a separator for the preliminary separation, and for remaining
separation a filter with inserts for stopping dirt and for coalescence and an HDW eccentric helical rotor
pump with an output precisely suited to the plant. Designed in accordance with the international
Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, and with the IMCO Test Rules for
separators and filtering equipment, the plant enables a degree of purity better than 15ppm to be attained.

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After the plant has been ones filled with clean water the oil/water mixture is pumped into the separator
by the eccentric helical rotor pump. The preliminary separation then takes place in the separator
according to the gravity principle.

The principle feature of the internal construction of the separator consists of the coarse separating
compartment in the upper part and the fine separating compartment arranged below it. After the
separation of relatively large quantities of oil in the upper part, the fine separation takes place in the fine
separating compartment, which is fitted with a number of chambers with catch-plates with equal flow
through. The oil to be separated collects on the undersides of the catch-plates. After the oil has formed
larger drops it detaches itself from the edges of the catch-plates and rises into the oil collecting space in
the upper part of the separator. From there it is automatically drained into the used-oil tank.
The air brought along with the oil/water mixture when pumping the bilges is constantly let out of the
separator through an air-vent valve.

The de-oiled water leaves the separator downwards through a central pipe provided with nozzle holes
and flows to the filter for the remaining separation.
The filter is a two-stage filter. In the first stage mechanical impurities are filtered out simultaneously
with some fine separators. The second stare, which is fitted with coalescing inserts, takes over the
remaining separation. As the oily water flows through the coalescing inserts the tiny remaining oil
droplets coalesce to large drops of oil and owing to their lower specific gravity rise up into the oil
collecting space provided for this purpose. From here the oil is drained manually. The sketch in the
previous page shows all details of general arrangement of the combined gravity separator and filter.

A pressure control, which may be supplied along with the unit, indicates the rise in pressure in the filter
and gives signal when the time has come to change the filter inserts. At the same time, pressure switches
set on an alarm and serve for switching off the bilge pump before the permissible pressure exceeded.
In addition to the separator and fitter, an oil content meter can be supplied as an attachment, which sets
on a visual alarm as soon as the limit value of 15ppm oil content, fixed by IMCO, is exceeded. A
connection enables transmission of the signal for change over valve or separator pump control.

Coalescing bed-type oily water separators:

A coalescing bed type oil/water separator in common use is the Firtop Separator. Figure on the next
page shows a standard 5tonnes/hr throughput unit with automatic discharge of the collected oil and
steam coils for heating the oil to facilitate separation and discharge.
Oily water is pumped through a non-return valve in the inlet to the separator; it enters the outer annular
space and flows vertically upwards towards the primary collection zone where the larger globules of oil,
which separate easily by gravity, collect. The water then flows downwards through the inner annular
space into the bottom of the separator, through ports into the coalescing bed at a very low speed when
the oil adheres to the granular material in the bed and forms, in effect, a climbing film, which moves
upwards through the bed at a slower speed than the water. A perforated plate covers the top of the bed.
When the oil reaches the underside of this plate it flows through the perforations and due to its viscosity
and surface tension, begins to form globules which increase in size until they have sufficient buoyancy
to float upwards at a faster rate than the water and collect in the secondary zone while the water flows
through the water screen and into the outlet pipe.

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Example of Coalescing bed separation ( G&M Firkins Ltd):

The coalescer is capable of forming oil globules up to 12 mm diameter and the heavier fuel oils usually
form long 'stalagmites', which grow to a considerable size before they are released. Because of the low
velocities employed the collected oil can flow past the water screen without becoming re-entrained and
carried through into the outlet.
The separators can be arranged for manual or automatic operation. Four test cocks are fitted, two to each
zone with the internal pipes arranged so that the high and low levels of oil can be monitored. When oil
reaches the high oil level test cock a manual discharge valve on the collection zone being monitored is
opened to allow the oil to discharge to the oil collection tank. The low oil level test cock is then opened
and when water appears the oil discharge valve is closed. The separator pressure valve is maintained at 1
bar either by having a high level overboard discharge or a spring loaded or manual discharge valve in
the clean water outlet.
The fully automatic version employs electronic capacitance probe units to monitor the oil/water
interface and to open automatically oil discharge valves, which can be of either the solenoid or electro-
pneumatic type - when the oil reaches the high level. When the oil has been discharged a signal from the
low oil level probe closes the valve. To prevent the electronic probes from giving false signals due to the
presence of the air the separator is fitted with air discharge valves, which automatically vent any air in
the primary and secondary zones. It is advisable to fit a high capacity basket strainer with a 20mesh
screen between the oily water pump and the separator to prevent dirt and debris from fouling the
underside of the coalescing bed. With a suitable strainer the bed will operate almost indefinitely without
servicing and does not normally require cleaning by back flushing or renewal but without adequate
filtration the bed is liable to become partially blocked resulting in a fall-off of effluent quality and a
significant rise in back-pressure. In the event of this occurring the bed should be backwashed.

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This can be done by opening the drain valve in the bottom of the unit and allowing the contents to run to
the bilge. For satisfaction, operation it is essential that the bed be well charged with oil at all times; new
separators are supplied with the bed already, charged. When operating the separator for the first time it
should be filled with clean water before use. The separator is designed so that it is only necessary to lift
the top section 75mm to gain access to the interior and for full examination, the top half can be moved
sideways. This facility enables the separator to he installed between the decks where the headroom is
low. Steam coils or electric heaters may be fitted to reduce the specific gravity of the oil to aid collection
and discharge. Drain and steaming out connections are provided so that the separator can be drained and
steamed out before opening up for survey. This design of separator produces an effluent quality of better
than 20 mg/litre. Figures of 15 mg/litre with 25% oil concentration and 6 mg/litre with 5% oil
concentration have been recorded during tests on board ship. When fitted with a clean water discharge
valve, which closes when the oil discharge valves are open, the separator can function adequately when
handling 100% oil as for instance when the bilge water has been stripped off and only oil is left.

Pumping considerations:
A faster rate of separation is obtained with large size oil globules or slugs and any break up of oil
globules in the oily feed to the separator should be avoided. This factor can be seriously affected by the
type and rating of the pump used. A British government research establishment some years ago on the
suitability of various pumps for separator feed duties and the results are shown in the table below carried
out tests. It follows that equal care must be taken with pipe design and installation to avoid turbulence
due to sharp bend or constrictions and to calculate correctly liquid flow and pipe size to guarantee
laminar flow.

Pump suitability for oil/water separator duty:

Type of Pumps: Remarks:

Double vane: Triple screw: Satisfactory at 50 per cent de-rated capacity.
Single vane: Rotary gear:
Reciprocating: Hypocycloidal: Not satisfactory: Modification may improve
efficiencies to satisfactory level:
Diaphragm: Disc and shoe: Centrifugal: Unsatisfactory:
Flexible vane

Oil content monitoring:

In the past, an inspection glass, fitted in the overboard discharge pipe of the oil/water separator
permitted sighting of the flow. The discharge was illuminated by a light bulb fitted on the outside of the
glass port opposite the viewer. The separator was shut down if there was any evidence of oil carry over,
but problems with observation occurred due to poor light and accumulation of oily deposits on the inside
of the glasses.
Present-day monitors are based on the same principle. However, whilst the eye can register anything
from an emulsion to globules of oil a light-sensitive photo-cell detector cannot. Makers may therefore
use a sampling and mixing pump to draw a representative sample with a general opaqueness more easily
registered by the simple photo-cell monitor. Flow through the sampling chamber is made rapid to reduce
deposit on glass lenses. They are easily removed for cleaning.

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Bilge or ballast water passing through a sample chamber can be monitored by a strong light shining
directly through it and on to a photo-cell as shown in the figure below. Light reaching the cell decreases
with increasing oil content of the water.
The effect of this light on the photo-cell compared with that of direct light on the reference cell to the
left of the bulb, can be registered on a meter calibrated to show oil content.

Monitor for Oily Water using Direct Light:

Another approach is to register light scattered by oil particles dispersed in the water by the sampling
pumps as shown in the figure below.

Monitor based on Scattered Light Principle (Courtesy Sofrance):

Light reflected or scattered by any oil particles in the flow, illuminates the scattered light window. This
light when compared with the source light increases to a maximum and then decreases with increasing
oil content of the flow. Fibre-optic tubes are used in the device shown to convey light from the source
and from the scattered light window to the photo-cell. The motor-driven rotating disc with its slot, lets
each light shine alternately on the photo-cell and also, by means of switches at the periphery, causes the
signals to be passed independently to a comparator device.
These two methods briefly described, could he used together to improve accuracy, but they will not
distinguish between oil and other particles in the flow. Methods of checking for oil by chemical test

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would give better results but take too long in a situation where excess amounts require immediate shut
down of the oily water separator.
Tanker ballast Sampling System:
Sampling and monitoring equipment fitted in the pump room of a tanker can be made safe by using
fibre-optics to transmit light to and from the sampling chamber as shown in the figure below.

Monitoring System for Tanker Ballast:

The light source and photo-cell can he situated in the cargo control room together with the control,
recording and alarm console. The sampling pump can be fitted in the pump room to keep the sampling
pipe short and so minimize time delay. For safety the drive motor is fitted in the machinery space, with
the shaft passing through a gas-tight seal in the bulkhead.
Oil content reading of the discharge is fed into the control computer together with discharge rate and
ship's speed to give a permanent record. Alarms, automatic shutdown, back flushing and re-calibration is
Every oil tanker of 150 tons of gross tonnage and above and every ship of 400 tons gross tonnage and
above other than an oil tanker shall be provided with an Oil Record Book Part 1 (Machinery Space
Operations). Every oil tanker of 150 tons gross tonnage and above shall also be provided with a oil
Record Book Part 11 (Cargo/Ballast operations).
The Oil Record Book shall be completed on each occasion, on a tank-to-tank basis if appropriate,
whenever any of the following operations take place in the ship:
1. For machinery space operations (all ships):
a) Ballasting or cleaning of oil fuel tanks.
b) Discharge of dirty ballast or cleaning water from tanks referred to under (a) of the sub-

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c) Disposal of oily residues (sludge).
d) Discharge overboard or disposal otherwise of bilge water which has accumulated in
machinery spaces.

2. For cargo/ballast operations (oil tanker):

a. Loading of oil cargo.
b. Internal transfer of oil cargo during voyage.
c. Unloading of oil cargo.
d. Ballasting of cargo tanks and dedicated clean ballast tanks.
e. Cleaning of cargo tanks including crude oil washing.
f. Discharge of ballast except from segregated ballast tanks.
g. Discharge of water from slop tanks.
h. Closing of all applicable valves or similar devices after slop tank discharge
i. Closing of valves necessary for isolation of dedicated clean ballast tanks from
cargo and stripping lines after slop tank discharge operations.
j. Disposal of residues.

3. In the event of such discharge of oil or oily mixture as is referred to in Regulation 11 of this
Annex or in the event of accidental or other exceptional discharge of oil not excepted by that
Regulation, a statement shall be made in the Oil Record Book of the circumstances of, and the
reasons for, the discharge.
4. Each operation described in paragraph (2) of this Regulation shall be fully recorded without
delay in the Oil Record Book so that all the entries in the book appropriate to that operation are
completed. The officer or officers in charge of the operations concerned shall sign each
completed operation and the master of ship shall sign each completed page. The entries in the Oil
Record Book shall be in an official Language of the State whose flag the ship is entitled to fly,
and, for ships holding an International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate, in English or French.
The entries in an official national language of the State whose flag the ship is entitled to fly shall
prevail in case of a dispute or discrepancy.
5. The Oil Record Book shall be kept in such a place as to be readily available for inspection at all
reasonable times and, except in the case of unmanned ships under tow, shall be kept on board the
ship. It shall be preserved for a period of three years after the last entry has been made.
6. The competent authority of the Government of a Party to the Convention may inspect the Oil
Record Book on board any ship to which this Annex applies while the ship is in its port or
offshore terminals and mav make a copy of any entry in that book and may require the Master of
the ship to certify that the copy is a true copy of such entry. Any copy so made which the Master
of the ship has certified as true copy of an entry in the ship's Oil Record Book shall be made
admissible in any judicial Proceedings as evidence of the facts stated, in the entry. The inspection
of an Oil Record Book and the taking of a certified copy by the competent authority under this
paragraph shall be performed as expeditiously as possible without causing the ship to be unduly
7. For oil tankers of less than 150 tons gross tonnage operating in accordance with Regulation 15(4)
of this Annex an appropriate Oil Record Book should be developed by the Administration.

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Dealing with Oil Pollution:
Source of information, which give procedures in the event of oil spillage:
The Merchant shipping notices issued by the Department of Trade, of various countries and the IMO
publication on Manual on oil Pollution section IV give the set of procedures to be followed in the event
of an oil spillage.
Note: Cadets should get to know the latest IMO publications and M-Notices for implementing actions
on a ship. This becomes necessary as these rules are changed for improving the system for prevention
of pollution.

Reporting of oil spillage:

There is a set reporting procedure. Reports should be made whenever:
1. An accident occurs involving actual or probable spillage of oil or other harmful
2. Any spillage of oil or other harmful substance at sea.
3. Any ship is seen discharging oil in contravention of the International Convention for the
prevention of the sea by oil, 1954 as amended.

Reports should be sent to the authorities of the neighboring coastal states which may be affected by
pollution, or to the nearest coastal radio station.

Report should provide the following essential and basic information:

1. Name of ship reporting.
2. Name of ship, if known, causing or involved in the incident (whether or not this is the reporting
3. Time and date of incident or observation.
4. Position of incident or observation.
5. Identity of substance (if known).
6. Quantity of spill (known or estimated).
7. Wind and sea condition.

Basic procedure in the event of oil spillages:

Spill location will have a direct influence on the selection of response action to remove the spilt oil.

The best and most desirable way of treating an oil spill is by physical removal. When it is not possible to
collect the oil by means of mechanical recovery equipment (i.e. physical removal) there are two
1. Leave the oil alone. Allow as much as possible to evaporate and be dissipated and diluted in the
water masses.
2. Combating the oil with chemical dispersants.

We shall now see the physical removal.

First of all confine oil spill from spreading. Any method of mechanical removal will be easier if the oil
layer is relatively thick. A floating barrier called boom is used to sweep or collect the oil into a smaller
area so that surface layer thickness is increased. Many of the mechanical devices used to skim or suck
the oil from the sea deliver a mixture of oil and water. This mixture is then passed on into the oil-water
separator, which will separate the oil from water.

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Using chemical dispersants may be used to combat an oil spill if the oil slick is sprayed with these
dispersants and the mixture is agitated the oil gets finely distributed in the water such that the oil slick is
no longer visible. In this way, the oil does not disappear but remains in the water column. It would now
decompose more rapidly as the surface area of the oil is greater than when the oil is in the form of a
Satisfactory dispersion of floating oil depends on the type and viscosity of oil, the efficiency of the
dispersant and the available mixing energy. Getting the right amount of dispersant to each small area of
oil presents problems. The thickness of the oil layer can vary considerably over short distances. There
are often patches of apparently clear water between oil slicks, so it is impossible to apply the correct
amount at every point.
The dispersing chemical is discharged on to the sea from booms mounted on each side of a boat. Spray
nozzles are fitted to the boom. These nozzles are capable of producing a uniform spray pattern of
droplets, which are of such a size that they are little affected by the wind. The same spray booms tow the
mixers or surface breaking equipment. Surface breaking equipment is specially designed, slatted wooden
devices, which effectively mix the treated oil into the upper 25cm of the sea. This method of mixing,
using the energy of the spraying vessel, produces the necessary mixing energy in the upper few
centimeters of the sea.
The equipment should be fitted to an ocean-going tug or large fishing boat, which can proceed under
reasonable sea conditions at speed of between 5 and 10 knots.
During this operation the tug may make the headway, at between 4 and 10 knots as directed by the
prevailing sea condition and the thickness of the oil layer - thinner the layer the higher the speed.
Surfactant dispersants are supplied in a concentrated form, which can be diluted with seawater before
application. It is shown that the dispersants may be diluted by a factor of 10 with seawater without
reducing effectiveness. Dispersants are stored below deck in flexible pillow tanks. They vary in size
front 2250 liters to 4500 liters capacity.
The correct amount of dispersant must be applied to the floating oil, and the treated oil then stirred or
agitated to form dispersion in the upper layer of the sea. The Warren Spring Laboratory designs
dispersant spraying equipment. Its task consists of two operations. First, to apply the dispersants
uniformly to the floating oil; second to mix the treated oil with the upper few inches of the seawater with
sufficient force to break the oil slicks into droplets.

Marine Sanitary Devices: Sewage System:

The control of pollution from ships concerns itself with three basic pollution sources:
Oil pollution from bilges, fuels, lubricants and cargo.
Solids or thrash - basically from food preparation. This includes food packages, empty bottles
and cans, cases and cartons.
Sewage drains.

The processing of sewage drains is the subject of this note:

In the past international pollution controlling bodies have been mainly active in trying to control the
discharge of oil-contaminated water in to the sea. In 1973 the IMCO convention included restrictions on
the disposal of garbage and sewage into the sea.

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In parallel with the IMCO decisions, many of the developed countries acted independently to introduce
their own legislation aimed at limiting the discharge of polluting materials in their territorial waters.
The question then is, what action must the ship owner take to assure compliance with pollution
The short answer would be to select an appropriate MSD* and Install it onboard the ship. However,
there is no single best solution to the selection of a marine sanitation device (MSD) (or sewage treatment
plant) for all the vessels. Experience has shown that the engineering judgment has to be made in each
case based on an evaluation of different types of MSD'S, ships route, physical constraints, port service
available and the applicable local and international regulations.

The basic equipment currently in use for the treatment of total waste generated on board ship consists of:
1. A sewage treatment plant, now being referred to as a marine sanitation device (M.S.D) for
treating raw sewage in order to produce an effluent suitable for overboard discharge where
permitted or prolonged retention onboard in a tank designed for the purpose.
2. An incinerator for all oil waste and residues plus galley and accommodation garbage. Nowadays
incinerators have been designed to accept sewage sludge and it will soon be, the practice to use
incinerators in conjunction with M.S.D.

Harmful Effects of Discharging of Raw Sewage:

Waste discharges from ships are a potential hazard to health and the environment mainly because of the
mobility of vessels in coastal areas, harbors and navigable inland waterways. Raw sewage can cause the
spread of such diseases as typhoid, dysentery, poliomyelitis etc. Untreated sewage also contains oxygen-
absorbing bacteria, which when present in sufficient quantity, could deprive the fish and plant life of the
oxygen they need.
A good M.S.D should, At least, be able to produce a standard of effluent to satisfy the I.M.C.O
requirements. These are:
1. Suspended solids standard*. Not to exceed 50 mg/litre.
2. Faecal coliform standard (e- coli-count)#. Not to exceed 250 faecal coliforms/200 ml.
3. Biochemical oxygen demand. (B.O.D)**. Demand over 5-day period not to exceed 50 mg/litre.

* Suspended solids are unsightly and give rise to sitting problems in the harbour or inland waterway.
The presence of a high level of suspended solids in the effluent is usually a sign of a malfunctioning
sewage plant. The suspended solids level is measured by filtering a measured sample through a pre-
weighed asbestos pad, which is then dried and weighed.
# The c-coliform is a family of bacteria, which live in the human intestine. They can be counted easily in
a laboratory, test result of which is an accurate indication of the amount of human waste present in a
particular sewage sample. The result of this test is called the c-coli count and is expressed per 100ml.
**Biochemical oxygen demand or BOD is a measure of the total amount of oxygen, which will be used
up by the chemical and organic matter in the effluent. The importance of the BOD test is twofold:

a) Firstly, if the waterway in which the effluent is discharged is overloaded with oxygen absorbing
matter, the oxygen content of the water will be reduced to a level at which fish and some plant
life cannot be supported.
b) Secondly, a class of bacteria, which can live without oxygen, will predominate in the waterway
in which the sewage is discharged. The gas associated with these bacteria is hydrogen sulphide,
which is both corrosive and highly odorous.

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BOD is usually associated with a specific period of five days. This value, BOD5 is determined by
incubating a one litre of sample of sewage at 20*C diluted in sufficiently well oxygenated water. The
amount of oxygen absorbed over the 5-day period is then measured.

Type of M.S.Ds:
1. CHT (Collection, holding and transfer) systems:
In this type of system, the sewage and wastewater is drained through a piping network to a collecting
tank. Provision is made to empty this tank into a shore receiving facility or to pump its contents
overboard in unregulated waters. As no discharge takes place in restricted waters, this is a no-
discharge or zero-discharge system.
2. The Physical-chemical sewage plant:
In this system the Black and Grey water* are held initially in a tank and treated with measured doses
of chemicals. This disinfects the water and flocculates the sewage into a sludge, which is pumped
out when the ship is at sea. The treated water may be re-circulated for use in toilets. It then becomes
a zero-discharge system.
3. Biological:
This uses natures own way of sewage disposal. Bacteria present in the sewage are used to break
down the sewage into a harmless sludge, which is pumped out when the ship is at sea.
4. Vacuum Collection:
In this system all sewage drains are conceded to a tank, which is maintained at a pressure of 0.5bar
(approximately half atmosphere). The vacuum tank permits the use of smaller bore sewage drain-
pipes and a reduced volume flush. Both these factors are important advantages onboard ships.

Note: Black water*: Untreated sewage.

Grey water*: Wastewater drains from the galley, sinks, bathrooms etc.

Elsan holding and recirculation (zero discharge) system:

Retention or holding tank is required where no discharge of treated or untreated sewage is allowed in a
port area. The sewage is pumped out to shore reception facilities or overboard when the vessel is
proceeding on passage at sea, usually beyond the 12 nautical mile limit.
Straight holding tanks for retention of sewage during the period of a ship's stay in port were of a size
large enough to contain not only the actual sewage but also the flushing water. Each flush delivered
perhaps 5litres of seawater. Passenger vessels or ferries with automatic flushing for urinals required very
large holding tanks.
Problems resulting from the retention of untreated wastes relate to its breakdown by anaerobic bacteria.
Clean breakdown by aerobic organisms occurs where there is ample oxygen, as described previously. In
the conditions of a plain retention tank where there is no oxygen, anaerobic bacteria and other organisms
thrive. These cause putrefaction, probably with corrosion in the tank and production of toxic and
flammable gases.

The Elsan type sewage plant as shown in the sketch below has an initial reception chamber in which
separation of liquid and solid sewage takes place. Wastes drop on to a moving perforated rubber belt
(driven by an electric motor), which the liquid passes through but solids travel with the belt to fall into a
caustic treatment tank. A grinder pump then transfers solids to the sullage or holding tank. The liquid
passes via the perforated belt to treatment tanks, which contain chlorine and caustic based compounds.
These chemicals make the liquid effluent acceptable for use as a flushing fluid. The Pneupress
arrangement, which supplies liquid for flushing the toilets, can deliver recirculated fluid or, when the
vessel is on passage, seawater.

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Elsan Type Sewage Plant:
Capacity of the holding tank is 2litres per/person/day. The tank is pumped out at sea, or to shore if the
ship is in port for a long period. Tank size is small because liquid effluent passes mainly to the flushing
system (excess overflows to the sullage tanks).

Advantages of above system:

1. Relative simplicity in operation.
2. Due to solids separation a minimal quantity of chemicals is required.
3. Moderate acquisition and operational costs.
4. Will operate either with seawater or fresh water flush and will handle sewage drains as well as
other waters.
5. Can handle surges easily.
1. Relatively large size, making retrofit installation difficult.
2. Requires the handling and storage of corrosive chemicals.
3. Solids must be discharged frequently.

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Biological sewage treatment plant system:
A number of biological sewage treatment plant types are in use at sea but nearly all work on what is
called the extended aeration process. Basically this consists of oxygenating by bubbling air through or
by agitating the surface. By so doing a family of bacteria is propagated which thrives on the oxygen
content and digests the sewage to produce an innocuous sludge. In order to exist, the bacteria need a
continuing supply of oxygen from the air and sewage wastes. If plant is shut down or bypassed or if the
air supply fails, the bacteria die and the plant cannot function correctly until a new bacteria colony is
generated. Change of flushing liquid- as when a ship moves from a seawater environment to fresh water-
drastic change of temperature or excess use of lavatory cleaning agents can also affect the bacteria

Hamworthy Biological Sewage Treatment Plant:

The process of regeneration can take several days depending on the level of harm caused.
Bacteria, which thrive in the presence of oxygen are said to be aerobic. When oxygen is not present, the
aerobic bacteria cannot live but a different family of bacteria is generated. These bacteria are said to be
Whilst they are equally capable of breaking down sludge, in so doing they generate gases such as
hydrogen sulphide and methane. Continuing use of a biological sewage system after a failure of the air
supply could result in propagation of anaerobic bacteria and processes. The gases produced by anaerobic
activity are dangerous, being flammable and toxic.
Extended aeration plants used at sea are package plants consisting basically of three inter-connected
tanks as shown in the figure above. The effluent may be comminuted (i.e passed through a device which
consists of a rotating knife-edge drum which acts both as a filter and a cutter) or simply passed through a
bar screen from where it passes into the first chamber. Air is supplied to this chamber via a diffuser,
which breaks the air up into fine bubbles. The air is forced through the diffuser by a compressor. After a

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while a biological sludge is formed and this is dispersed throughout the tank by the agitation caused by
the rising air bubbles.
The liquid from the aeration tank passes to a settling tank where under quiescent conditions, the
activated sludge, as it is known, settles and leaves a clear effluent. The activated sludge cannot he
allowed to remain in the settling tank since there is no oxygen supplied to this area and in a very short
time the collected sludge would become anaerobic and give off offensive odours. The sludge is therefore
continuously recycled to the aeration tank where it mixes with the incoming waste to assist in the
treatment process. Over a period of time the quantity of sludge in an aeration tank increases due to the
collection of inert residues resulting from the digestion process, this build up in sludge is measured in
ppm or mg/litre, the rate of increase being a function of the tank size. Most marine biological waste
treatment plants are designed to be desludged at intervals of about three months. The desludging
operation entails pumping out about three quarters of the aeration tank contents and refilling with clean
The clear effluent discharged from a settling tank must be disinfected to reduce the number of conforms
to an acceptable level. Disinfection is achieved by treating the clean effluent with a solution of calcium
or sodium hypochlorite; this is usually carried out in a tank or compartment on the end of the sewage
treatment unit. The chlorinator shown in the figure uses tablets of calcium hypochlorite retained in
perforated plastic tubes around which the clean effluent flows dissolving some of the tablet material as it
does so. The treated effluent is then held in the collection tank for 60 minutes to enable the process of
disinfection to be completed. In some plants the disinfection is carried out by ultra-violet radiation.
1. These systems form a minimal sludge, which only requires accassional removal.
2. Simple to operate.
3. They work well with seawater or fresh water flush, although change over from one to the other
requires care since different bacteria live in each environment.
1. Requires continuous operation to maintain the functioning bacteria.
2. The use of certain detergent can be harmful to the functioning bacteria culture.
3. Recommended only for processing of sewage drains.

Vacuum Collection and Incinerating System:

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Vacuum System:
In a vacuum system as shown in the previous page, the holding tank and drainpipes are kept under
negative pressure by an air-evacuating pump. An alternative system uses an ejector to maintain a
vacuum in the drain pipes only. The main advantage of these systems results from the vacuum condition,
which allows the use of a reduced-volume flush and consequently a small holding tank is required. In
addition to reducing the volume of the flush, the vacuum transports the sewage so that piping can be
smallest in size and does not require pitch.
However, the system requires specially designed valves, water closets and urinals.
Recirculation Flush:
Any of the systems mentioned above can operate as a Zero-discharge device if the flushing water is
recirculated. Prior to reuse, the liquid is usually filtered treated and disguised. Chemicals are usually
added to kill bacteria and change the appearance of the flush fluid.
Fluids used in recirculating system may be water or mineral oil. Most of these systems require special
fixtures to handle the flush medium. Regulations require, that the flushing medium have a faecal
coliform bacteria count no greater than 240 per 100 mls.
Although an incinerator on board ship is not specifically required by regulations, it is the obvious and
practical tool for the ship Operator to comply with any future pollution regulations.
An incinerator should be able to burn all liquid wastes, as well as garbage. Therefore, the operating
temperature in the chamber should be between 800- 1000*C at which level the combustion of the liquids
and solids should be complete, subject to the chamber being large enough for the gases to dwell in it at
least one second. Combustion of solid particles can be assisted by a cyclone effect, obtained by
positioning the burner tangentially, which, lengthens particles dwelling time in the chamber.
Combustion of solids can also be arranged in a separate chamber, in which temperature of up 1400*C is
reached. However, apart from the extra fuel consumption, the main drawback in this case is that
incombustible materials, mainly steel and glass, do not disappear completely at this temperature level
but soften and tend to agglomerate in a mass that is sometime very difficult to extract.
Therefore, a single chamber operating at about 900*C is the answer; liquids are completely burned and
the combustion of solids is assisted by the burner, whether the liquid has a high calorific value (oil
sludge) or one supplemented by diesel oil. Thus, the inconvenience of a high temperature second
chamber is eliminated.
The Burner:
When liquid wastes are properly homogenized in the sludge tank there is no sudden variation in calorific
value of the mixture reaching the burner. But this can extend gradually from zero to 10000kcal/kg, so
the burner must be able to adapt itself to variable conditions.
Also, if high calorific value solids are loaded, such as wood, paper products or oily rags, as the
temperature climbs, fuel and effluent feed need to be turned off automatically, to protect the exhaust
system from damaging high temperatures. Solenoid valves actuated by a thermocouple monitoring the
chamber temperature obtain this safe temperature.
A burner that delivers a very high-temperature flame (1800-1900*C) into the chamber, in which are
injected water-based products of low calorific value having a low incineration temperature, does not
achieve real compatibility between this low temperature and the dwell time of the combustion gases in
the chamber.
The solution is either a single head or a rotary cup burner as shown in the figures on the next page, the
latter being more sophisticated and more costly. Both allow intimate mixture of low and high calorific
value products, so that the combustion of all products, including diesel oil, is obtained simultaneously
within a single head practically instantly in a single or near single flame, and therefore as uniformly as

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Key: 1: Exhaust suction by fan. 2: Double insulation. 3: Burner. 4: DO Igniter. 5: Double Door.
6: Thermocouple.
Sectional View Of Shipboard Incinerator:

Solids can be burnt either on a floor or on a grate. But combustion is better with a grate, which allows
air to pass through it rather than blowing air on to the waste lying on the chamber floor.
Another advantage is that ashes and in combustibles can fall into a pan below and then be extracted
easily, whereas with floor combustion the ash extraction door is above floor level and ashes have to be
spread or swept out - an unpopular duty.
Because of the very high temperature in the chamber, the insulation is very important and a refractory
lining is almost always used. As the lining thickness is inversely proportional to the heat transmission, a
normal thickness is usually between 15 and 30cm.

Single Head Burner:

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Rotary Cup burner:

However, refractory material lasts longer if it is used in relatively thin walls, rather than thick ones. Thin
walls are more flexible. They adapt more readily to heat shocks and stand up better to ship vibrations.
Furthermore, heating-up time is shorter and this saves fuel. A suitable wall thickness is therefore about
100mm. In this case, if air is circulated between the refractory wall and the outer skin, the same overall
insulation value can he obtained as with a thick wall.
Refractory material is cement containing a suitable proportion of alumina to stand up to the designed
temperature levels and the corrosive action of sulphides and alkalis evolved during combustion of oil,
plastics and other wastes.
Safety Factors:
It seems obvious that, with a constant negative pressure in the combustion chamber, no injury can occur
if the garbage loading door or the ash door is opened during operation.
Shutting down the air supply is not foolproof as the safety interlock may fail. Therefore a negative
pressure of between 10 and 60mm.wg should be aimed at. This is usually achieve by a fan, situated in
the exhaust duct, which can also act as an exhaust booster, complementing the normal gas/air circulation
by combustion fan if combustion air is not supplied by suction from the exhaust fan. But this fan can be
damaged easily, because in becomes very hot, especially if operators overload solids. Then, gas
temperature may reach damaging levels before the air shutdown, actuated by a thermocouple, damps the
fire. Therefore, a safer method is to create the negative pressure by means of an ejector, the air being
blown in by a cold fan, and this is also, cheaper than the hot exhaust fan.
Garbage should not be loaded into a cold incinerator, because the poor combustion conditions, occurring
until the chamber has reached its proper temperature, will cause objectionable and polluting black
smoke. Therefore, all incinerators must be heated up before garbage is loaded. Loading then becomes a
hazardous operation because of the hot inner surface of the door and or the risk of blowbacks or
explosions from items in the garbage. To prevent this, incinerators should always have a double door

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Longer, regular periods of operation are preferable to shorter ones, because refractory linings last longer
when the period of exposure to heat is long in relation to the heating/cooling cycle. This fact is well
known in the case of boiler lining. The smaller the incinerator capacity (compatible with the amount of
waste to be burned) the longer the lining life will be.
In order to achieve this, it is essential to select incinerator capacity on the low side. For example, it is
better to go for a 12-hour operation than an 8-hour operation. Most of the time is taken by the
combustion of liquid sludge and, if this is automatic, it will not need attendance as the unit will cut out
when the sludge tank is empty.
Usual capacities are 300,000 kCal/h to 500,000 kCal/h for ships with a crew of 40 or 50, depending on
the amount of sludge per day, lM or 2M kCal/h for ferries and passengers ships.
Cost saving factors is always important. On cargo ships, the number of hours of daily operation and the
amount of heat release do not justify the expense of heat exchanger to recuperate energy. However, on
passenger or very large ships, this may well be used to produce steam or hot water. Selecting an
incinerator requires careful examination of many, and often ignored, features, concerning safety,
maintenance and operational costs and reliability. For example, the difference between a good and bad
incinerator designs could mean a fuel consumption difference of 30t of diesel oil a year.
Cadets should be familiar with the Clean Air Act rules pertaining to the port of call of the ship.

Some aspects of incineration on board ships by R Nagel, Managing Director, Wilson Walton Ltd.
Cilchrist, A. (1976) Sea Water Distillers, Trans 1 Mar E, 88. Hill, E. C. (1987) Legionelia and Ships Water Systems, MER.
Merchant Shipping Notice No. M1214 Recommendations to Prevent Contamination of Ships' Fresh Water Storage and
Distribution Systems. Merchant Shipping Notice No. M1401 Disinfection of Ships' Domestic Fresh Water. The Merchant
Shipping (Crew Accommodation) Regulations 1978, HMSO. Allanson, J. T. and Chamicy. R. (1987) Drinking water from the
sea: reverse osmosis, the modern alternative, Trans I Mar E, 88.
***************************End of Pollution from Ships: ************************

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Marine Auxiliary Machinery I:

Heat Exchangers:

Fresh Water Generators:

Oil Separators:

Pollution from Ships:

Notes for BE (Marine Engineering) Cadets.

Notes prepared by: Prof. K. Venkataraman. CEng; FIMarE; MIE.
Academy of Maritime Education and Training.

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